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The Potsdam Conference 

CofyrsgAt © ‘9&o, by Princeton Unh efsity Preti 
London: Oxford University Press 


IX. CARD: CG-ll/30 


This book is a continuation of the narrative in Churchill-Rooseveh- 
Stal'm. The first section tells how the surrender of Germany was effected, 
when the last attempt to divide her enemies failed. The next sections 
trace the flow of dissension within the coalition, the inner fractures that 
led to separation. The final section tells of the conference of the three 
Heads of Government at Potsdam — named Terminal. For it was con- 
ceived that at this meeting the situations left by the war would be re-, 
solved, and the nations would find, at the end of their sad journey, 

The time of war is one of effort, vigil, heroism, suffering. The brief 
season that follows is the time of determination : whether the struggle 
will have been just another match between nations — black against white, 
gray against gray— -or whether it may be seen as the pangs of creation. 
I believe that these few months in the spring and summer of 1945 were 
crucial; and that knowledge of what happened then is essential to an 
understanding of the present. 

I have been much aided in my task by others— to whom I wish to 
make acknowledgment here. 

To the Department of State for enabling me to consult the collection 
of records on the Potsdam Conference which are being prepared for 
publication, and to members of its Historical Office, especially Dr. G. 
Bernard Noble, Dr. E. Taylor Parks and Dr. G. M. R. Dougall, for 
guidance in their use; to the Department of the Army for making avail- 
able selected files; to the members of the Military Records Branch in the 
Federal Records Center for assistance in their use. 

Again the records of the Honorable W. Averell Harriman, on his 
work and experience as Ambassador to the Soviet Union, were of much 
value; and their utilization was made pleasant by his generous encour- 
agement. With patient kindness, former Secretary of State Byrnes put 
at my disposition many papers having, to do with his participation in the 
Conference at Potsdam, and freely reviewed that experience with me. 
Similarly, the Under Secretary of State, Joseph C. Grew, was good 
enough to allow me to read and use his diary and memoranda. I am 
appreciative also of the enjoyed chance to talk over with the former Su- 
preme Commander, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, some of the 
situations and events described in this book. Among the other members 
of the American Delegation at the Potsdam Conference, the Honorables 
James Dunn, Charles Bohlen, and George Allen have also dredged their 


memories, and so did George Kennan, then Counsellor of our Embassy 
in Moscow. 

Miss Ruth Russell of the Brookings Institute was good enough to 
permit me to draw upon the manuscript of her comprehensive study of 
the history of the United Nations Charter, and to review critically the 
chapter on the San Francisco Conference. Assistant Secretary of State 
Francis Wilcox also did me the favor of reviewing that chapter. Profes- 
sor Paul Y. Hammond of Yale similarly permitted me to learn from 
the manuscript of his excellent study of the origins of American policies 
in Germany. 

For aid in research or in analysis of one sort or another, I am also 
obligated to Dr. Rudolph Winnacker, of the Office of the Secretary of 
Defense, M. Jacques Rueff, Professor Elting Morison, Dr. Robert Op- 
penheimer, Dr. Marshall Shulman, Dean McGeorge Bundy, Mr. 
Arthur Page, and Mr. Emilio Collado. 

Mrs. Arline Van B. Pratt helped me much in research and in critical 
examination of the text} Miss Elizabeth Todd in the editing; Miss 
Rebecca Fuller in the tedious task of turning out the many versions of 
the manuscript. 

Throughout, the effort was sustained by my wife, Ruth Stanley-Brown 
Fcts, who as well went over the proofs with expert care and aided in the 
preparation of the index. 

I am grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation for its supporting grant 
and to the Institute for Advanced Study for its appointment to mem- 
bership and generous working facilities. 

I wish again to repeat the statement in the prefaces to my other studies 
of this wartime era. “The aid given by persons in the government should 
not be construed as an indication of official sponsorship or approval, nor 
should that given by persons outside the government be taken to mean 
that they share responsibility for the contents of the pages that follow.” 

I vi] 

York, Maine 

Herbert Feis 


Preface v 

The Time of Triumph 

1. As the Germans Gave Up 3 

2 . The Western Allies Prove Their Good Faith 6 

The Time of Tension 

3. Antiphony 25 

4. The Abrupt Slash in Lend-Lease Aid 2 6 

5. The Quarrel over Poland 31 

6. The Tussle with Tito over Frontiers 39 

7. Uncertainties about Germany 52 

8. Friction over the Former Axis Satellites 62 

9. Anxieties over Austria 65 


The Time of Testing 

10. Differing Ideas about How to Deal with the Soviet Govern- 
ment 73 

1 1. British-American Colloquy 74 

1 2. The Urge to Re-examine the American Attitude toward the 

Soviet Union 78 

13. Prologue to Hopkins’ Trip to Moscow 82 

14. Cooperation and Dissent at the San Francisco Conference 86 

i !• Hopkins-Stalin Talks: The First Avowals 97 

16. Hopkins-Stalin Talks on Poland and the Satellites 102 

17. Hopkins-Stalin Talks on Far Eastern Situations in 

18. Relief for the San Francisco Conference 117 

19. Davies’ Visit to London 124 

20. Discord with de Gaulle 128 

21. Clearing the Way to the Potsdam Conference 139 

[ vii] 



Terminal: The Conference at Potsdam 

22. Preparatory Work and Attitudes 

23. The Secret that Traveled to Potsdam 

24. Toward a Peace Conference 

25. The Former Satellites of Germany 

26. Spain 

27. Poland: The Consultations before Potsdam 

28. Poland: Debate on General Questions 

29. Poland: The Struggle over Frontiers 

30. Germany: The Crucial Questions 

31. Germany: Political Principles 

32. Germany: Economic Principles 

33. Germany: Reparations 

34. The Springing Arch of the Conference 

35. A Backward Glance at the Accords about Germany 

36. Austria 

37. Yugoslavia and Greece 

38. Turkey and the Black Sea Straits 

39. Iran, the Levant, the Italian Colonies, Tangier 

40. France 

41. Potsdam: Impressions and Epilogue 

1 55 


















On the Use of a Short Instrument of Surrender for Germany 327 
American Policies in Regard to the Provision of Lend-Lease 
Aid for the Soviet Union and Great Britain after the Ending 
of the War Against Germany 329 

Negotiations about the German Navy and Merchant Marine 333 
The Stipulations Regarding a Basic Standard of Living for the 
Germans in Directive for Eisenhower of May 14, 1943 336 

On “War Booty” and “Restitution” 336 

Provisions in the Montreux Convention of 1936 Pertinent to 
Soviet Demands for Revision 
Tat t>f the Pnftcctfl of the Potsdam Conference 

Main Sources Gted 





33, 43 


part one 

The Time of Triumph 

I, As the Germans Gave Up 

May 1945 : Hitler's Germany went down at last. Who does not remember 
the joy of the peoples who had won, and the prayers that mankind would 
never more have to go through the same anguish? Or the resolve that 
Germany should be so treated that it could not again bring war upon 
the world? Or the revived quest for a better ordered way of life among 
nations — secure and calm? This is the tale of these motions in the spirit 
of the winning nations when the war was over and they turned to the 
task of peacemaking. 

The National Socialist structure of authority, in spasm, fell apart. 
The German people had been warned that they would have to admit 
complete defeat and offer total submission: the surrender would have to 
be unconditional. The victors had kept their right to deal with the German 
state and people as they should see fit. They would, it had been made 
clear, occupy and take control of the country in order to enforce their 
will. But this prospect had been made less fearful by the broadcast state- 
ments of the wartime leaders — Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin. All 
three had disavowed any intention of causing the German people brutally 
to suffer— or of enslaving them. “We come,” Eisenhower had said on the 
day in 1944 that the Allied troops crossed the western frontier of Ger- 
many, “as conquerors, but not as oppressors.” At their conference at Yalta, 
in the winter before the end, the three Heads of Government had de- 
clared: “It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and 
Nazism and to ensure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the 
peace of the world. ... It is not our purpose to destroy the people of 
Germany, but only when Nazism and militarism have been extirpated will 
there be hope for a decent life for Germans, and a place for them in the 
community of nations.” 

The triumphing coalition had adopted rules to guide them in treating 
acts or offers of surrender by their common foe. The commanders of 
each segment of all combat fronts — west, east, south, north — were au- 
thorized to accept the surrender, unconditionally, of enemy units directly 
engaged against forces under their command. For such tactical surrenders 
in the field, as they were called, it was agreed that the military authorities 
in the west (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces — 
SHAEF) and east (the Soviet High Command) need not first consult 
each other. But this military practice was under constraint. Each of 
these two top commands had promised to notify the other, and allow 
chance for consultation, if there was any prospect that a main German 

[ 3 ] 


force opposing it might stop fighting. And, in accord with pledges not 
to enter into any separate peace, it had also been agreed that the sur- 
render of whole German armies on either of the two wide-ranging 
battlefronts — west or east — should not be accepted unless at the same time 
it was offered on the other. This was a mutual guarantee that the Germans 
should not be permitted to quit the fight in the west but keep on in the 
east, or quit it in the east but keep on in the west. The ultimate end 
would have to be one and indivisible. 

The American and British governments had constantly to confirm to 
the Russians this accord against the Germans. The Nazi leaders and 
commanders did not bow to destiny in due season. Up to their last days 
they strove to escape the penalties of total defeat by securing an armis- 
tice in the west, which would enable them to maintain the fight against 
the Red Army. Some of them were genuinely surprised by their failure 
to corrupt the coalition, by the refusal of the western members to be- 
come quiet partners with them against Communist Russia. Even then 
these Germans were not aware of the aversion with which they were re- 
garded. In their hearts they thought their own misdeeds justified. Why 
should not others? All through the war they had tried to imbue the 
western and eastern allies with greater fear of one another than of Ger- 
many. Why might they not yet manage to do so, when their western 
enemies realized they would have to face the Soviet Union alone unless 
they saved Germany from defeat? 

Stalin, and those around and under him, scented the Nazi purpose. 
Their anxiety that it might succeed may be traced to their own concep- 
tions — and preconceptions. In joining the infamous pact with Germany 
(the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact), which made certain the advent of the 
war, they had not been restrained by decency from doing what they 
deemed best for the Soviet Union and the cause of Communism. Why 
should not the West prove to be just as ruthless? In their book of 
beliefs about the nature of capitalist countries,. the western allies were 
likely to act with guile, driven by relentless hatred of any Communist 

Cooperation in the war had not really cleared the minds of those 
disciples of Communist dogma who ruled the Soviet Union of such ways 
of thinking and feeling. In the spring of 194J, when the drizzle of 
dissension began to fall upon their talks with their western allies about 
the arrangements for Europe after the war, this suspicion had revived. 
The objections made to Soviet designs for Poland and all other countries 
touching or near the Soviet Union had been construed as proofs of 

[ 4 ] 


ill will. Whoever did not give in to the wishes of the Soviet Union 
must be its enemy. 

The depth of Soviet distrust had been sharply revealed in the late 
March and early April that had just gone by. Then exploratory secret 
talks in Switzerland between American and British agents and mediaries 
for the German commanders in Italy, about the surrender of their 
forces, had brought forth from Stalin a blunt accusation of betrayal. 
Although Roosevelt was shocked, he had, in his last days alive, treated 
this as an aberration. At the time, the affair had come to nothing. But 
the experience had alerted the western military men to the frailty of 
Soviet faith in the pledged word that no peace would be made with 
Germany except a peace for all. 

This shaped their course during the last weeks of battle, causing them 
to be most careful in their responses to German proposals, so as not 
to give ground for reproach. Even so, the friction over the measures 
that dosed the war against Germany was a disturbing portent. It 
became dear that the ordeal had not joined the three great allies 
together in lasting trust and cooperation} that although their peoples 
were thankful of the end, the nations had separate strides and stances. 
The figures at the center of the concluding acts knew that the Soviet 
government was trying to make the Russian part in winning the war 
stand out supreme. 

2. The Western Allies Prove Their 
Good Faith 

The next episode in the drama of surrender, after the trouble over 
the talks with German agents about surrender in Italy, was shaped by 
a wish to spare the Dutch people. By the middle of April, a Canadian 
Army corps had managed to expel the Germans from northeast Holland. 
But a large though isolated German force still retained its grasp on 
western sections of the country around Amsterdam- Its Commander 
had refused to give up, stating that he would fight on as long as the 
German armies elsewhere did. Reserve stocks, food, and other essentials 
for the Dutch civilians in the area subject to his will were almost gone, 
and two or three millions faced misery. 

On April 10, in a message to Roosevelt, Churchill had described this 
prospect of near starvation. He had proposed that the two governments 
join in giving notice to the German government that they deemed that 
the German army had the duty to sustain the civilian population in 
those parts of Holland still under its control, but that it seemed to be 
failing to do so, and they were ready to provide what was needed. The 
German government was to be asked to facilitate this aid through the 
International Red Cross and other agencies. Should this offer be re- 
fused, Churchill thought the German Commander in Holland and all 
troops under him should be warned that by denying relief to the 
civilians in the area they would brand themselves before the world as 
murderers, and would be held grimly responsible for what befell the 
Dutch people. Truman had at once agreed to this program of protec- 

The message calling on the German government either to see to it 
that the Dutch did not suffer or to allow the Allies to take care of 
them was sent through the Swiss government. It had led to talks be- 
tween Seyss-Inquart, the German High Commissioner in Holland, and 
some of the leaders of the Dutch underground who were under arrest. 
Seyss-Inquart declared that he would not surrender the German forces 
in Holland as long as there was any effective military power in Germany. 
He urged instead that the Allied forces should suspend their attempts 
to advance past a designated line, and vowed that, if they did not, 
the soldiers under his command would obey their orders to fight to 
the end. He threatened to blast open the dams in the region and cause 
much of Holland to be flooded. The German forces in Holland, he 
[ 6 ] 

boasted, would be able to resist long enough to ruin the country and 
starve those living in it. If the Allies would suspend their attack in 
Holland, however, he would refrain from these measures, and allow 
Red Cross ships or wagons to bring in supplies for the people. When and 
as the central German government might admit defeat, he would also. 

The Dutch authorities (in exile in England) — including Gerbrandy, 
the Minister-President — saw salvation in this bargain. The problem was 
whether the Allies were to suspend their demand for unconditional 
surrender, and agree to this curious local truce, during which some of 
the opposing German forces might escape. Eden, in San Francisco, gave 
Stetrinius a copy of a message from Churchill favoring acceptance. In 
the Prime Minister’s view, the British and Americans ought not to be 
too stiff and proud when the life of a whole nation rested on a murderer’s 
desperate push. He would “rather be blackmailed in a matter of ceremony 
than be haughty and see a free nation perish.” The derision, he thought, 
lay solely between the American and British governments, but it would 
be well to let the Soviet government know what was in the wind. Let 
the three foreign secretaries discuss it while they were in San Francisco. 

The State Department consulted the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General 
Marshall said that military prospects would not be hurt if operations 
against western Holland were suspended. But might there be, he 
wondered, other reasons for caution in thus trafficking with the enemy? 
The example might incite other Germany army commanders, those in 
Norway and Denmark perhaps, to make similar threats and proposi- 
tions. The Joint Chiefs in their answer refrained from commenting on 
the political implications of this “apparent variation” from the rule that 
they would not deal with the Germans except on a basis of unconditional 
surrender. But they reminded the State Department that as our armies 
drew near to the Russians, need for closer touch was becoming impera- 
tive. They believed, therefore, that a Russian envoy should be present 
if the program was discussed with the Germans. 

While President Truman, now Commander-in-Chief, was still gather- 
ing opinions, Churchill sent along a hint that the best way would be 
just to Jet Eisenhower act as he thought best. The idea had prevailed. 
The Combined Chiefs, on or about April 23, told Eisenhower they 
would leave the decision to him. He was not to depart from the un- 
conditional-surrender policy; he was to see to it that his Soviet military 
associates knew what was going on; and he was to accord their liaison 
officers the chance to be in on any talks that might ensue with German 
agents. The Soviet government, he was also told, was being informed 



through the diplomatic route of the instructions being issued to him. 
Marshall penciled in a note at the end of this message: . . it being 
understood that General Eisenhower is to proceed without delay to 
carry out his instructions.” 

The American and British Ambassadors in Moscow advised the Soviet 
government accordingly. Neither the Soviet Foreign Office nor the Soviet 
High Command had any objection. By April 30, agreement was reached 
with Seyss-Inquart. The Allies promised to halt their military actions in 
Holland. Seyss-Inquart promised to flood no more areas of Holland, 
to end all his repressive measures against the Dutch, and to ease the 
entry of supplies. These supplies were quickly sent by land, sea, and 
air — to the grateful relief of the Dutch people. 

While this special deal was being arranged, several major moves 
toward the surrender of the main German forces had taken a decisive 

The Americans and Russians had met on the Elbe. The British 
(Commonwealth) forces and Russians were about to meet near Lttbeck 
on the Baltic. The German armies in Denmark and Norway, as well as 
those in Holland, were isolated} those in north Italy knew they were at 
the end} those in Austria and Czechoslovakia were near collapse and 
flight} the Russians were pounding against the last defenses of Berlin. 

While that city writhed under its scourge of fire and smoke, Himmler 
took it upon himself to speak for Germany, on the score that Hitler was 
no longer able to do so, being cut ofE, gravely ill, or perhaps already 
dead. Himmler, that abhorred man, clung to the chance of saving him- 
self by breaking the unity of the coalition. Having sought a meeting in 
Lttbeck, he asked Count Bemadotte, head of the Swedish Red Cross, 
to arrange for him to see Eisenhower, so that he might offer surrender 
on the whole Western Front. 

The Supreme Commander let it be known at once that he thought 
any reply to Himmler ought to insist that the Germans surrender to all 
three allies at the same time and everywhere, for he recognized Himm- 
ler’s offer as a frantic attempt to create a schism. Churchill and Truman 
agreed with him. They then instructed the American and British Min- 
isters in Sweden to have Himmler plainly so informed. In the course of 
telling Marshall that he was sure this was the only and right answer 
to make, the Supreme Commander reported that “In every move we 
make these days, we are trying to be meticulously careful in this regard” 1 
—that is, to avoid any misunderstanding with the Russians. 

1 Treman, Ttar of Decision:, pige »oS. 

[ 8 ] 


To that end, Churchill and Truman hurried off messages to Stalin 
which, after telling him of Himmler’s proposal, went on to say “There 
an be no question ... of anything less than unconditional surrender 
simultaneously to the three powers.” Within the day Stalin expressed 
his satisfaction. His answer to Churchill read, in part, “I consider your 
proposal to present to Himmler an unconditional surrender on all fronts, 
including the Soviet Iront, the only correct one. Knowing you, I had tio 
doubt you would act this t cay.” When Churchill published the text of 
this message in his reminiscent account, he italicized the second sentence. 2 
Could he have had in mind Stalin’s accusation of deceitful purpose, 
made only a few weeks before, in connection with the talks about sur- 
render of the German forces in Italy? 

Bernadotte went back to Germany to pass on this answer. But by then 
Himmler, having thrown away his Nazi uniform and boots and decora- 
tions, was scurrying along dark back alleys. 

Concurrently, and now with the confirmed support of General Vieting- 
hoff, Commander of the German forces in Italy, a renewed effort was 
begun to find reprieve. General Wolff, the same SS officer who had 
taken the lead in the earlier talks, returned to Switzerland with full 
powers. The Combined Chiefs told Field Marshal Alexander that he 
might accept, as a tactical act in the field, the unconditional surrender 
of the German army opposing him in Italy. Churchill, on April 2 6, told 
Stalin of this authorization and asked that Russian envoys be sent at 
once to Alexander’s headquarters to take part in any talks that might 

The German envoys were brought to Caserta. There, on April 29, 
they signed the terms of unconditional surrender in the presence of 
British, American, and Russian officers. A few days later the fighting 
in Italy ended and nearly a million German troops gave themselves 
up as prisoners of war. Allied combat units were sped north in the 
direction of Austria. 

On this same day, copies of Hitler’s political will were being flung 
out of his last deep-down shelter in Berlin. In this Admiral Karl Doenitz 
was named Head of the German State and Supreme Commander of 
the German forces. In his first Order of the Day to the Armed Forces (is- 
sued on May 30) he said: “I assume command of all services of the Armed 
Forces with the firm intention of continuing the fight against the Bolshe- 
viks until our troops and the hundreds of thousands of German families in 

2 Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, page jjf. 


our eastern provinces have been saved from slavery or destruction. Against 
the British and Americans I must continue to fight for as long as they 
persist in hindering the accomplishment of my primary object.” 

Doenitz. concluded that the war had to be brought to an end as soon 
as possible. But he was determined to do his utmost to avoid a “corporate” 
unconditional capitulation on all fronts. Thus he resorted to a series 
of offers to surrender separate German armies to the western military 
commanders. In his Memoirs he avers that he neither sought nor 
expected to be able thereby to cause trouble between their governments 
and that of the Soviet Union. 9 IBs object was, he has explained, to 
postpone surrender in the east as long as possible, and gradually to 
retract the lines of resistance in the east to the demarcation line of the 
areas that were to be occupied by the British and Americans. But it is 
most unlikely that he failed to perceive that if the western allies allowed 
him to succeed in these tactics, the Soviet government would be re- 
sentful; and it is probable that he still hoped that the war alliance would 
at the last hour fall apart. 

On the and of May, Eisenhower got word that General Blumentritt, 
the Commander of the German Army Group between the Baltic Sea 
and the Weser River (in northwest Germany), wished to leave at once 
to see Field Marshal Montgomery in order to arrange the surrender of 
forces under him. Eisenhower derided that this tender also could 
properly be treated as a tactical military measure, and be dealt with as 
such. But in so advising Montgomery he cautioned that the only 
acceptable submission would be unconditional. The Soviet liaison officer 
at SHAEF, General Susloparoff, was told of this injunction. 

Admiral Doenitz, however, changed his plans. On the next day (the 
3rd) senior German officers, bearing written authority from Field 
Marshal Keitel, the Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht 
(OKW), with the consent of Admiral Doenitz, arrived at Montgomery’s 
headquarters. They had come with an offer of surrender of the three 
German armies that were then facing the Russians between Berlin and 
Rostock on the Baltic, northwest of Berlin. 4 Montgomery told them 
that this offer should be made to the Russian commanders in the east — 
adding, however, that of course any individual soldiers or small groups 
from these three armies that came toward the Western Front would 
be accepted as prisoners. He also rebuffed pleas made by the scheming 

ite has mounted hi* calculation* and decision* in Chapt 
Doenitt'* luWquent account of hi* instruction* to the 
Admiral Friedeburj, is rather vague. “My instruction* to 

er as of li 19 A Itmoirs, 
senior member of the 
Friedeburg,” he writ 

i in hi* 


envoys for help in saving the many German civilians who were fleeing 
from the Russians. What the German envoys had in mind was a secret 
arrangement under which the German forces would take refuge in 
designated areas which still resistant German troops would give up 
to western armies as these went forward. Having made dear that he 
would have nothing to do with such a plan, Montgomery called upon 
the envoys of the High Command to surrender unconditionally to 
him all their forces on the western and northern lines of his area of 
Command. The Germans said they would have to report back to Doenitz 
and Keitel. Montgomery wrote out his proposals and had the German 
envoys escorted through the lines to Flensburg .* 

Forewarned, Eisenhower advised Montgomery that if the Germans 
should come back with an offer to give up their armies in Schleswig- 
Holstein, Denmark, Holland, and northwest Germany, without condi- 
tions, he could treat it as a tactical one and conclude the surrender on 
the spot. But should their proposal go beyond these limits they should 
be told they would have to present themselves to him, the Supreme 
Commander in the west. The Soviet High Command was informed at 
once of this guidance. Hardly had the message reached Montgomery 
when the German envoys were again brought into his presence. 

He had been so sure of the answer that he fad described to the press 
correspondents around him what was about to happen. This confidence 
was justified. Doenitz had been relieved at the acceptance of a separate 
surrender, which did not compel the instant abandonment of German 
soldiers and civilians to the Russians. Thus the German officers had 
returned that evening (the 4th) with authority from Doenitz and 
Keitel to surrender to Montgomery all their forces in these named 
battle lines and areas. It was arranged that fighting should cease on 
the following day, May j". 

Meanwhile, having learned that the German envoys were hurrying 
to his headquarters at Rheims, Eisenhower at once informed the Soviet 
High Command what he was going to say to them. With fateful finality, 
they would be told that the only way Germany could get peace was to 
surrender to him all forces on the Western Front, including Norway, 

Memoirs (page 454), “were that he was to offer Montgomery the military surrender of 
the whole of north Germany and at the same time invite the Field-Marshal’s special at- 
tention to the problem of the refugees and troops in retreat on the eastern boundaries of 
the area occupied by the British. He wa» in particular to do his utmost to ensure that the 
evacuations and withdrawals by land and sea were not adversely affected by the surrender, 
but would be allowed to ccntiacc.** 

6 Montgomery prints the text of his terms in his Memoirs, page 301. 


and to the Russian High Command all forces facing the Russians on 
the Eastern Front — at one and the same time. 

This was the answer given to Admiral Friedeburg, speaking for Doenitz, 
when he offered to surrender only the forces on the Western Front. Noth- 
ing less than unconditional surrender on all jroni}, he was grimly told, was 
acceptable. German troops were to stay where they were, hand over their 
arms intact, and surrender on the spot. A copy of an Act of Military Sur- 
render, which had been written in Eisenhower’s headquarters, was given 
to him. Commissioned to do so by the Soviet High Command, General 
Susloparoff listened and watched. In reporting to the Combined Chiefs, 
Eisenhower pointed out that this Soviet liaison officer had not objected 
to the stipulation that the German forces in Norway should surrender 
to him. He also saw to it that the Soviet High Command was at once 
informed, through the American and British Military Missions in 
Moscow, of what had taken place, and was given copies of the documents 
that had been handed to Admiral Friedeburg. 

That depressed chief German envoy Friedeburg was convinced that 
the will expressed by Eisenhower could not be bent. He hurried off an 
aide to report to Doenitz asking permission to sign unconditionally a 
simultaneous surrender in all theaters. 

While this talk with the messengers of the German High Command 
about the surrender of the German forces on the main western and 
eastern fronts was going on at Rheims, separate accords for ending the 
fighting in the north Alpine areas of Germany and Austria were being 
completed. But not without some confusion. 

On May 4 Eisenhower heard from Alexander that General Kessel- 
nng, commanding all the remaining German forces in the west, was 
inquiring to what Allied headquarters he should address himself 
for the purpose of surrendering the German forces in the north Alpine 
region. Eisenhower told Alexander that Kesselring should address him- 
self to General Devers, who was in charge of the U.S. 6th Army, then 
in the south of Germany. But Kesselring, without making dear what 
he had in mind, proceeded to ask consent to send an emissary to Eisen- 
hower. The Supreme Commander sent word that unless Kesselring 
planned to yield all the German forces in Czechoslovakia, Austria, 
southern. Germany , iwi Balkars, zsvd all three faring the Red Army 

—at the same time — it was useless to do so. If the purpose was merely 
to arrange a local surrender of forces in the Alpine area, that could be 
arranged with Devrn. The Russian High Command was kept informed 

[ 12 3 

of each item in this correspondence. It ended when, on the 5th, the 
Commander of the German Army Group that was now scattered in or 
near the Alpine region of Bavaria, haring been pushed back from the 
Palatinate, agreed with Devets to lay down arms at noon the neat day. 

Eisenhower, meanwhile, was tensely awaiting word about what the 
main German armies left in the west and east were going to do. On the 
6th General Jodi came to join Admiral Friedeburg. The Russian liaison 
officer stayed close by. 

Jodi had been instructed, if he found he had to offer a simultaneous 
surrender on all fronts, to suggest that it be carried out ,n two phases. 
During the first, to be as long as possible, all fighting was to end, but 
German troops were to be allowed freedom of movement. Once again 
the German envoys asked to be allowed to sutrender only the fortes on the 
Western Front; and they gave the impression that they were trying to 
gain time to move German soldiers away from the Russian front and 
German civilians from the areas that Russia was going to take over 
Eisenhower, doing his utmost not to give the Russians any flicker of 
a reason for complaint, demanded almost instant capitulation. Speaking 
for the Supreme Commander, his Chief of Staff, Genera] Walter 
Bedell Smith, repeated that only unconditional surrender at the same 
time on all fronts was acceptable. Unless they agreed to this, the Ger- 
mans were told, all talks would be broken off and the Western Front 
would be sealed to prevent the frightened flow of German soldiers and 
civilians. In telling the Combined Chiefs of Staff what had been said, 
Eisenhower added that in practice, in order to save any needless loss 
of lives all fighting would stop on the Western Front as soon as the act 
of surrender was signed. He was hopeful that the formal surrender 
could take place on the neat day, the 7th; and that, if the program went 
through as planned, a proclamation could be made on the 8th, announcing 
Wednesday, May 9, as VE day. 

“Eisenhower insists that we sign today,” Jodi reported to Doenite. 
“If not, the Allied fronts will be closed to persons seeking to surrender 
individually, and all negotiations will be broken off. I see no alternative 
—chaos or surrender.” 8 Thus he asked to be enabled to sign on the 
understanding that actual fighting would stop forty-eight hours after- 
ward (midnight May 8-9). In the early morning hours of May 7 Jodi 
was accorded the requested authority. Eisenhower agreed to this in- 
terval ofi forty-eight hours. At once the ultimate measure was completed. 

* Doenitz, Mtmairi, page +63. 

[ >3 J 


A short Act of Military Surrender was signed. 7 Susloparoff put down 
his name for the Russians. The German envoys were also required to 
promise that appropriate German officers would execute a formal rati- 
fication of the act of surrender at another time and place, to be set by 
the Supreme Commander. 

The first paragraph of the Act of Military Surrender read: “We the 
undersigned, acting by authority of the German High Command, hereby 
surrender unconditionally to the Supreme Commander, Allied Ex- 
peditionary Force and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command all 
forces on land, sea, and in the air who are at this date under German 
control.” Thus ended in utter submission the effort of the Germans, 
under brutal Nazi direction and discipline, to make themselves masters 
of Europe and directors oE an alliance that could sway the world. But 
nothing they might do then or later could heal the hurt they had done 
to the souls of individuals, the life of nations, or the stability of the 
western world. 

A message, proud in its simple brevity, went from Eisenhower to the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff: “The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled 
at 0241 local time, May 7, 1945.” President Truman hastened to suggest 
to Churchill that they tell the world the news at the same time— at 
9:00 a.m., Washington hour, Tuesday, May 8. They besought Stalin to 
time his announcement with theirs, since they did not think the news that 
the war was over could be held back longer j even then it was seeping 

But the Soviet rulers would not be hustled. Their responses con- 
tained an echo of that note of annoyed accusation which was becoming 
familiar. The Allied Military Missions in Moscow had been asked by 
Eisenhower to let the Soviet High Command know as soon as the Act 
of Surrender was signed. But they were kept waiting two hours be- 
fore given a chance to do so. In that interval General Antonov, First 
Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Soviet Army, replying to a 
previous message in which Eisenhower had outlined the final plans 
for handling the surrender, sent him a disturbed letter. Eisenhower 
learned what was in it early on May 7, a few hours after the surrender 
was sealed— as did also the Combined Chiefs of Staff. Antonov wrote 
that despite the fact that talks were going on (aimed to effect simul- 
taneous surrender on all fronts), Admiral Doenitz, while ending 

T See Supplementary Note j, which trace* the circumstance, and ideas that led to the 
use of > short military Instrument of Surrender drawn up in SHAEF instead of the more 
comprehensive one on which the European Advisory Commission had been working for 
manv months. 6 

resistance to the Allied forces in the west, was ordering the German 
troops in the east to fight on. Such conduct was creating the impression 
among the Soviet people that he had already made a separate truce in 
the west. “You of course understand that such a truce would be a viola- 
tion of Allied relationships.” 

Then, indimtiv'e of the Soviet wish to appear in first place in the 
drama, he went on to urge that the Act of Military Surrender be 
executed in Berlin, as it should be signed also by Marshal Zhukov. This 
point was verbally stressed by the member of the Soviet High Com- 
mand when he gave the letter to the American Military Mission m 
Moscow, to be sent on to Eisenhower. The Soviet government pre- 
ferred, he said, that there be only one ceremonial signing, and that 
this be in Berlin. And, contrary to their earlier assent, he also said that 
the Russian High Command did not approve of having Susloparoff sign 
a preliminary agreement. But that he had done hours before. 

On reading this message Eisenhower flushed with anger. The drift 
of its language was unfair to him, and the Soviet wish overbearing. But 
his answer was calm and conciliatory. He did not deny that the German 
forces were acting in contrasting ways on the Eastern and Western 
Fronts in the brief passing interval (some forty-eight hours) between the 
signing of the Act of Surrender and the designated time when all 
fighting was to end. Remaining firm in his resolve that the great triumph 
of the coalition should not be spoiled by reproaches, he at once sped 
messages to the Russian High Command and to Washington. His reply 
to the Russian High Command was explanatory: 

“1 feel sure,” he said, “you will understand that we have scrupulously 
adhered tD the engagement of no separate truce on this front. When whole- 
sale surrenders of enemy troops began taking place on our flanks, I ven- 
tured to keep on pushing in the right center until we should meet the Red 
Army. This movement was restrained because of the receipt of information 
from the Russian High Command that their commitment of large forces to 
the areas involved would certainly result in confusion and entanglement. 
We have consistently refused to discuss separate truce with anyone and 
have proceeded exactly in accordance with our understanding of Russian 

a Whik a trie/ instrument of unconditional surrender, of which you 
have a copy, was signed here at 0240 hours this morning, before re- 
ceipt of your message above referred to, that instrument provides that 
the German High Command is required to report at a time and place 
fixed for a more formal signing. I should be very happy to come to 


Berlin tomorrow at an hour specified by Marshal Zhukov who, I un- 
derstand, would be the Russian representative. . . • 

“My only desire is to get everything completed quickly in a clean-cut 
way in full cooperation with you.” 

His message to Washington informed the War Department of the 
letter from the Soviet High Command and of his reply. He added that 
he thought it becoming for him to go to Berlin for this formal signing 
if the Russian High Command wished it. Moreover, the course of 
events had altered his earlier ideas regarding the timing of the public 
announcement of the surrender; that, he now thought, had best wait 
Until the Russians were thoroughly satisfied. 

The Soviet top authorities were urging postponement. Stalin answered 
the messages from Truman and Churchill by saying he was not sure 
that the order of the German High Command to surrender uncondi- 
tionally would be carried out at once by the German troops on the 
Eastern Front. He was afraid of a premature and misleading announce- 
ment. Thus he asked that any announcement be delayed until a formal 
surrender ceremony at Berlin had taken place and he was sure that the 
Germans meant to stop fighting. Antonov wrote still another letter to 
Eisenhower making a similar plea for postponement. 

But Churchill and Truman both concluded that this could not and 
ought not be done. Rumors about the surrender were loose in Fleet 
Street and Whitehall. Lack of official confirmation might cause needless 
loss of life. So without waiting for Stalin, they went ahead and made 
their glad statements. Thus it came about that for a day, while western 
peoples were celebrating the event, the Soviet press ignored it. No 
flags were unfurled in the Russian cities. 

On that same morning of the 8th, Eisenhower took still another step, 
however, to assure that the Russians would not suffer because the west- 
ern allies were desisting from the fight. He told the Combined Chiefs 
of Staff he thought that since the Russian High Command was still 
worried lest the Germans fight on against the Russians after the fixed 
deadline, the American and British governments ought to set their minds 
at rest. This might be done, he suggested, by a statement that since the 
surrender of Germany had been made jointly to the Russian and to the 
Allied forces, any continuation of resistance after the agreed-on hour for 
its ending was an offense against all. Hence if any large numbers of 
Germans failed to surrender by that time, they would lose the status 
of soldiers. The Russian government might be assured as well, he 
thought, that the western armies would in any event continue to aid 


the Red Army in wiping out any lingering resistance. The Combined 
Chiefs of Staff approved this course. 

The message telling the Soviet High Command of these intentions 
traveled ahead of the American group that was to take part in the formal 
ceremony of military’ surrender at Berlin. Eisenhower decided that the 
straits of precedence would be more easily avoided if he did not go. 
He assigned Air Marshal Tedder, his Deputy, to sign on his behalf. 
The personal message that the Supreme Commander hurried off to 
General Marshall, after watching the American mission take off for 
Berlin, is testimony to the strain he had been under in directing these 
momentous and touchy arrangements, and to the purpose that had 
guided him throughout: . 

“This meeting [at Berlin], completely concurred in by the Russians, 
finally relieves my mind of the anxiety that I have had due to the 
danger of misunderstandings and trouble at the very last minute. This 
anxiety has been intensified by the very skillful German propaganda 
that has been inspired by the German desire to surrender to us instead 
of the Russians. All the evidence shows that the Germans in the East 
are being paid back in the same coin that they used in their Russian 
campaign of 1941-42, and they are now completely terrified collectively 
and individually of Russian vengeance. ... 

“To be perfectly frank, the four days just past have taken more out of 
me and my .MU than the past eleven months of this campaign. How- 
ever as I have noted above, I am at last reasonably certain that insofar 
as hostilities are concerned, the Russians and ourselves are m complete 
understanding and the meeting today should be marked by complete 

'"aSIt'was At 9 00 in the evening, General Keitel, as head of the 
German High Command, signed the second pledge of complete sub- 
mission Then, and then only, Stalin issued his victory proclamation 
telling the Russian people that the “great &Y »f victory over Ger- 
many has come”, that the German troops were quitting and giving up 
their arms “The Soviet Union,” he added, “is celebrating victory 
though it does not intend either to destroy or dismember Germany.” 

But Eisenhower was called upon to take one more measure to end a 
last effort of the Germans to hold back the Russians a while longer. A 
few hours before the signature of the formal act of surrender at Berlin, 
Antonov again complained to Eisenhower that the Southern and Cen- 
tral groups of the German forces m the east had not yet given up; that 
some of them were still resisting while movmg west. Thereupon the 

[ 17 ] 


Supreme Commander informed the German High Command that in 
view of these reports from the Red Army staff he had given orders to 
his troops to block all approaches to western lines and to impound all 
German forces moving from the east. They and their commanders, he 
added, would be turned over to the Soviet army as violators of the 
military act of capitulation. And, since he judged that actions of this kind 
were indicative of double-dealing by the German High Command, he 
ordered the instant arrest of the top officers of that command, including 
Keitel, Kesselring, Jodi, and Warlimont. These vigorous measures drew 
from Antonov, on the 10th, a letter of unusual warmth, expressing his 
“many thanks and sincere gratitude.” 

The attempted flight to the west of German combatants in organized 
units was thus checked. But soldiers, one hy one or in small squads, still 
tried to get out of the reach of the on-coming Red Army. They plodded 
along the same roads as the pitiable columns of German civilians. Many 
of these had been thrust out of the towns, the land, and the villages into 
which the Boles, the Czechs, and the Russians were crowding j others 
were choosing to flee before the perils of oppression and revenge. 

In following the discussions leading to the surrender of the main 
German armies in the west and east, we have passed by the concurrent 
and connected talks between the western allies and the Soviet govern- 
ment in regard to the bounds that should mark the areas of responsi- 
bility for dealing with the German forces in Austria and Czechoslovakia. 

While dividing lines in Germany had been explicitly set in messages 
exchanged by Eisenhower and the Soviet High Command, none had been 
fixed in Austria. By the middle of April, the Soviet armies were in 
Vienna and the eastern part of Austria. There they had halted. A fort- 
night later American forces entered the country from the northwest, 
and French from the west. On May 4, the German garrison at Salz- 
burg had surrendered to the American Field Commander. It was on 
the next day that the representative of the German Army Group in the 
Alpine region of western Austria and Bavaria had accepted Allied terms. 
Thereafter British forces, having marched up from Italy, entered 
Klagenfurt — on May 8 — and joined with nearby Soviet troops in 
divided occupation of the province of Styria. Thus it came about th3t 
there were American troops in areas that were soon to be allocated to 
the Soviet Union as part of its zone of occupation in Austria, and Rus- 
sian troops in areas soon to be allocated to Britain as part of its zone. 

Czechoslovakia, it had been agreed, was to be treated as a liberated 

[18 3 

ally — to be freed of enemy forces and not kept under occupation. 
While the Russians were still fighting their way through the eastern 
sections of the country, American troops under General Patton had in 
late April crossed the western frontier and thrust southeastward along 
it. At the same time, due notice having been given the Russians, an- 
other column had begun to move east into Czechoslovakia as far as the 
Karlsbad-Pilscn-Budweis line. Churchill had advocated in messages to 
Truman that the U.S.-U.K. forces should seek to advance as far east 
as the Moldau (Vltava) River, which is a continuation of the Elbe and 
runs through Prague. Conformably, on April 28, the British Chiefs of 
Staff told General Marshall that the British government believed there 
would be much political advantage to be gained by doing so. They 
wished the Combined Chiefs to tell Eisenhower that while they were 
aware that the operation would be unwise if it meant he would have 
to lessen his efforts against the Germans in Austria and Denmark, he 
should use any improvement in his situation to keep going into Czecho- 

Marshall was dubious, for, as he let his colleagues know, he was 
loath to risk American lives for purely political reasons. Thus he had 
revised the draft of an answer to the British Chiefs, to state flatly 
that the American Chiefs, for military reasons, did not take to the plan. 
The reason he gave was that Eisenhower’s resources were fully engaged 
elsewhere, and probably would be to the end. But he had gone on to 
leave the Way open by stating that Eisenhower might find he would 
have to move further into Czechoslovakia to complete the defeat of all 
German forces. The decision might best be left to him. 

Marshall had asked Eisenhower what he thought about the move 
urged by the British Chiefs. In answer Eisenhower reported that he 
had been informed that the Soviet army was going to advance into the 
Moldau valley; that he was first moving into Pilsen and Karlsbad, and 
would not attempt any action he thought militarily unwise. He con- 
cluded, however — perhaps because the first German tenders of surren- 
der in northwest Europe were about to free his forces for new ventures, 
or because the U.S. forces had moved on f aster and further than he 
had expected, being only about sixty miles from Prague when the Rus- 
sians were still over a hundred miles from the city — that he might 
safely attempt this advance. On May 4 he notified Antonov that he was 
willing, after occupying the Pilsen-Karlsbad area, to go forward to the 
region of Prague. 

The State Department was hopeful that he would do so. On the 5th, 



Acting Secretary Grew put before President Truman a memo giving the 
various reasons why the Department thought this extension of the 
American thrust into Czechoslovakia was wise and justified for political 
reasons. The flow of thought in its pages was more like Churchill’s than 
any of the others that found their way to Truman’s desk at the time. 
We had every reason and right to expect Soviet cooperation in regard 
to Austria and Czechoslovakia. But, on the contrary, the Soviet gov- 
ernment was being ungiving and unhelpful. As examples, it had recog- 
nized a Provisional Government in Austria without consulting us or the 
British; it was refusing to allocate to the United States a zone in Austria 
that would contain an adequate airfield} it was pausing over a request 
that our diplomatic officials be allowed to go to the temporary seat of 
the Czechoslovakian government. Therefore the State Department be- 
lieved that hard bargaining was needed, and that the present military 
chances should be used to serve our general policies. It recommended 
„ j J° int Chiefs orde r the American armies to continue east to the 
Moldau River. In that connection it pointed out that the Soviet gov- 
ernment was seeking our assent to a transfer to their zone of occupa- 
tion of that section of Upper Austria north of the Danube into which 
the American Third Army had entered. The conclusion was that if 
our forces advanced to the Moldau, throughout its length, we would 
be able to deal with the Soviet Union on a basis of equality in regard 

continue “a Czcchoslovakia > but otherwise it would probably 

continue to disregard our protests. h 1 

ij?“ TO ' attempted, however, for the answer Eisett- 

Soviet HhTr tr ° m r 'P r “" d his “P" 1 * to go forward. The 

bTmS “ k "‘ ' hi,t for " ! ” Czechoslovakia not 

lin '” course of his 

hs ad“l rr ttot the Red Am, had stopped 

„ E"t the U 7 r J E “* » Cermany at Eisenhower's sogges- 
emered p™ A " ,Ws ~1««- The Red Army 

the SeufttfAm?" G ' rnun <“ng Americans surrendered in 
suLntod w" “ m ™ nd r' ” ha ' ,h “= '“"S the Russians 

-patlf'c^vTCr- period of ™ ^ 

wh?'ejf^?Lc 0 „ ] ^ m ” d dViIi “’ ,he toalition did not know 

the course of effectuatinvThe amon 8 its members in 

ettectuatmg the group of sumenders. For them the days 

[ 20 ] 

of victory were not darkened by somber forethought. In Britain the 
rejoicing was instant and deep. In the United States there was a surge 
of satisfaction and a soaring of spirits— restrained by thoughts of the 
war still to be fought against Japan. In Moscow the American Embassy 
was the scene of displays of friendly feelings by large and boisterous 
crowds. Members of the Embassy and the American Military Mission 
in Moscow were hoisted up and tossed about. Even the Dean of Canter- 
bury, on the streets of Moscow, found himself on the shoulders of en- 

The three Heeds of Government sent one another warm congratula- 
tory messages and salutes. But even while soldiers embraced and crowds 
cheered and mothers wept in gratitude, the officials of the three great 
countries that up to then had stayed together were becoming estranged 

During the fortnight after the German surrender the American and 
British authorities were compelled to give intent thought to the wishes 
and pretensions of Moscow. They were worried over what Communist 
Russia had in mind for those parts of Europe and the Far East where 
it might extend its influence or control. Were these areas, emerging 
from the Axis reign of cruelty and arrogance, to pass under the Soviet 
reign of compulsion! Was the collaboration that had won the war so 
soon to dissolve! Or could it be preserved in support of a just and 
peaceful future! The differences between the Allies, after all the talk 
and vows of wartime, were enough, together, to affect relative power 
and realms of authority in the world thereafter. Past failures to reach 
agreement about them were beginning to turn mutual regard into of- 
fensive rudeness. And new issues were coming to the fore as soon as the 
demands of war ceased to be commanding. 

These we must now review, and then follow the proposals and ef- 
forts by svhich the West sought to adjust them and reach a mutually 
fair and promising program for times to come. 

[ 21 ] 

part two 
The Time of Tension 

3- Antiphony 

The antiphony in the performance of the coalition could be heard by 
trained listening ears in all three countries. Anxious doubts beat against 
the rhythm of the common cause. Now that the enemy of all was down 
would the coalition fall apart, each member beset by its own national 
history, aims, and fears? Or would enough sense of partnership be pre- 
served to hold them together? 

All would suffer if they did not remain as nearly at one as they had 
been during the war. Would the next — perhaps the last — mile along 
the banks of history be merely an elongation of the sad and violent 
annals of nation against nation? Or was there a turning and a change 
of vista ahead? Were the victors going to start rehearsing for another 
and more awful act in the human tragedy? Or could they this time 
make good by detachment and courage their avowals that the world 
must not again so suffer, and show at last that nations could long live at 
peace? It could not be hoped that mankind, congregated in their na- 
tional shrines, would embrace the doctrines of St. Francis. But might 
they not become devoted to those that were being turned into a code of 
conduct at San Francisco? 

History hints that what is done during the first few months after a 
great war ends is likely to determine the fate of the next generation, 
perhaps of many generations. Since prophets were not usable as 
diplomats, it was a time that called on diplomats to be prophets. 


4- The Abrupt Slash in Lend-Lease Aid 

No act of this time was more precipitate than the slash in Lend-Lease 
aid. The spell of comradeship in war was over. Hardly was ink dry on 
the Act of Surrender when the American government made known 
that it was not going to continue to provide its associates (the British 
Commonwealth, the Soviet Union, and the smaller allies) with weapons 
and supplies, except those needed to support the war effort in the 
Pacific. This measure would have been a shock no matter how man- 
aged. But because it was carried out abruptly, without prior notice or 
discussion, at a time of want and flux, the resultant tremor was re- 
grettably great. 

Generosity, even though serving a common purpose and joint interest, 
is hard to sustain. When tension comes between those who give and 
those who receive, the giver is apt to yield to the impulse to end the 
giving as soon as it is feasible to do so. Thus it happened in regard to the 
continuation of aid for the Soviet Union, under the Lend-Lease Act. 

In the months after the Yalta Conference, when the conduct of the 
Soviet government began to provoke and worry, American officials 
had given thought to regulating the free and easy provision of products 
for that country and its people. The men who represented the United 
States in Moscow, Ambassador Harriman and General Deane, head 
of the Military Mission, had long since concluded that the time had 
come to do so. Both had become resentful of the Soviet indifference to 
what they regarded as fair American requests for cooperation. 1 They 
had urged that the American government should ( I ) require the Soviet 
government to give proof that each and every item on its list was needed 
for the effective conduct of the war, (2) be strict in its response to 
Soviet requests for products or machinery that might be put to use not 
in war but in Soviet reconstruction after the war; and (3) begin to 
ask definite return favors of some sort. 

These proposals had been in the main resisted in Washington up to 
the end of the war against Germany. For this there were many rea- 
sons. American strategy and combat operations on the Western Front 
were conjoined with those of the Russians in the east; they must not be 
imperiled. Then Roosevelt and Hopkins had been determined to keep 
on proving our friendship in the hope of evoking a like disposition in 

1 Sortie ot these request* — especially those made by oor military department* — may not 
base been mental, or may not have taken into due account the hardship, the Russian 
people »tr* enduring or the difficulties tinder which the Soviet government era* carrying on. 

Moscow, for the sake of their great purpose — which was to lead the 
world into an era of prolonged peace. Another reason had been the 
coldness of the American military authorities in Washington toward 
any action that might cause the Soviet Union to delay its entry into the 
Pacific war. Still another had been the dislike of the State Department 
officials who were immersed in preparation for the coming conference 
at San Francisco of any step which might hurt that cause. 

AH but the first of these reasons remained valid even after Germany 
was defeated. But they were overborne by a wish or sense of duty to 
apply the law conscientiously. 

Leo Crowley, the Foreign Economic Administrator in general charge 
of the Lend-Lease program, had been a public utility executive from 
Wisconsin. If the paths of politics had not led him into a detour, he 
probably would have been an isolationist, and against American support 
for Britain and the Soviet Union. Naturally, then, he believed that he 
was obligated, by the intent of Congress, to terminate that aid at the 
stroke of victory. 

On the same day that the German surrender was announced, Crow- 
ley, along with Acting Secretary of State Grew, submitted to President 
Truman an order directing that Lend-Lease aid for our allies in Europe 
be ended at once. The President initialed it. By his own account he had 
not fully realized its import or effect. “What they told me,” he wrote 
later, “made good sense to me; with Germany out of the war, Lend- 
Lease should be reduced. They asked me to sign it. I reached for my 
pen, and without reading the document I signed it ." 2 

The subordinate officials to whom this order was sent carried it out 
with zeal.* They directed that goods waiting on the docks for ship- 
ment or in transport across the United States or still in factories were 
not to go forward. On vessels at Atlantic and Gulf ports and on the 
Pacific coast they interrupted the loading of all cargo except that con- 
signed to the Soviet Union for use in the war against Japan. They 
even caused some of the ships at sea, en route to Russia with Lend- 
Lease cargo, to return to American ports. An instant protest was heard 

2 Year of D teuton) t page tit. 

* Harriman, who had advocated that we thould not continue to provide the Soviet Union 
with Lend-Lease aid on the same lax basis as during the war, was taken aback at the abrupt- 
ness and thoroughness of our action. To the officials of the War Department who directed 
the day-by-day execution of our policy, the wording of the original Presidential order 
seemed in very precise fashion to require them to do what they did. A good case can be 
made for their conclusion. 

[ 17 ] 


from Moscow, for the Soviet government had always regarded Ameri- 
can aid as no more than its due, and construed the abrupt clipping of it 
as an attempt to force Russia to give in to us on other issues. 

What had been done could be justified as an act of good faith toward 
Congress, and as an act of sense toward a country, the Soviet Union, 
that was devaluing our friendship as it pursued its own aims. But It was 
recognized at once that the way in which the measure had been put into 
effect gave just ground for grievance. So the American government 
hastened to make amends. On May li, with Presidential approval, a 
corrected interpretation of the exigencies of the Lend-Lease law was 
adopted. The orders to return to the United States, given to ships at 
sea with Lend-Lease cargo for the Soviet Union, were cancelled; the 
ships were told to go on to their destination. All vessels on berth in 
American ports waiting for Lend-Lease cargoes were to be loaded and 
depart as scheduled. But, pending further review of both the law and 
the uses to which the products we sent would be put, it was directed 
that subsequent shipments were to be limited to weapons and goods 
for use of the Soviet Union in the war against Japan and in various 
previously approved programs therewith connected. 

As a result of further examination of the question, in which the Joint 
Chiefs as well as the Secretaries of War and Navy participated, this 
policy was confirmed. Furthermore, the Soviet Union was to be asked to 
supply adequate relevant information to enable us to judge for our- 
selves in the future whether products requested were really needed for 
its war effort against Japan. 4 Against these legally correct and adminis- 
tratively sound measures the Soviet government did not protest. But, 
as will be seen, Stalin let us know later how displeased he had been 
by the first quick and ill-considered action. 

Of all the recipients of Lend-Lease aid, Great Britain had the most 
reason to be offended by the abrupt termination. It had used up its re- 
sources without stint during the war, trusting in the American sense of 
partnership to enable it to make a fair start in restoring a tolerable 
peace-time life. Most of the British reserves of foreign investments and 
funds had been expended in the war effort. A substantial part of British 
shipping had been lost. Ordinary export trade had been forgone, and 

* The actual rules adopted were more complex and flexible than this summary descrip- 
tion. Since they we re of consequence, a summary of their main features, as proposed by the 
W<Jepartmttv«\ Cmnm.uee concerned with the terms and way, of carrying- out our Lend- 
Lease program (the Protocol Committee), and as approved by the President on May « 5 . 
are pttn separately, in Supplementary Note a. 


stocks of food and imported raw materials had been allowed to slump. 8 
In contrast, needs during the period of transition to peace were going 
to be greater than ever before. Exceptional quantities of raw materials 
and equipment of all sorts would be required to enable Britain to get 
along, begin to restore industrial capacity, improve neglected railways 
and roads, and resume exports, so that it might again pay its way. 

The British government had thought the country protected against 
a too severe and rapid reduction of American aid by the virtual promise 
that the President had given Churchill at their meeting in Quebec, on 
September 14, 1944. 8 Subsequently a committee of the Cabinet (Stet- 
ttnius, Morgenthau, and Crowley) had recommended — subject to 
changing demands of strategy and conditions of supply — that the United 
States provide the British Commonwealth during the first year after the 
German defeat with about 2.7 billion dollars’ worth of munitions and 
2.8 billions of other products. 7 It had remarked that such a program 
would release British manpower and resources for reconversion, improve 
living standards, and aid in the revival of exports. Similar estimates 
had been given to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the 
course of its hearings on extension of the Lend-Lease Act, which were held 
only a month before the end of the war against Germany. 8 

Little wonder then that the sudden and almost complete suspension 
of the flow of supplies had surprised and upset the British authorities. 
But they did not take quick offense or become sullen. The Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, Sir John Anderson, set to work to find out what, if 
anything, the American government was going to do to make good on 

B For estimate* of the deterioration in Britain’* wealth, productive capacity, foreign in- 
vestment*, and gold, ire Richard N. Gardner, Sterling-Dollar Diplomacy , page 178. He 
estimate* that to compensate for losses m shipping and foreign-investment earning*, Britain’s 
export*, which had dropped to one-third of their prewar volume, would have to be in- 
creased by about half over that volume to enable Britain to pay for tame amount of import* 
as before the war. 

* Roosevelt had initialed a memo calling for the provision to Great Britain, during the 
first year after Germany was defeated, of munition* in the approximate amount of 3 5 bil- 
lion dollars, and other requirements — foods, raw material*, machinery, and shipping — 
of about 3 billions. This would permit Britain to transfer productive effort from the 
monitions industries to other branches of production. A thorough account of the commit- 
ments to the British is given in two Briefing Book memoranda, printed in Potsdam Papers, 
Document* 537 and 538. 

T The joint public statement issued by the Committee on November 30, 1944, did not, 
however, specify any amount. It indicated an expectation that Lend-Lease deliveries to 
Great Britain would be reduced even before the defeat of Germany, and substantially 
thereafter. But it also stated it was likely “that both the United Kingdom and the United 
States wilt be able to reconvert part of their resource* on an equitable basis to meet essential 
civilian needs in the period between the defeat of Germany and the defeat of Japan.” 

8 See letter of Foreign Economic Administrator Crowley to Senator Arthur H. Vanden- 
berg, April 4, 1943: VS., 79th Congress, First Session, Heartttgt .... page 20. 



the Quebec accord. While he sought to arrange a loan to enaile Great 
Britain to procure vital necessities, Churchill and the British Chiefs of 
Staff exerted themselves to secure, as Lend-Lease, equipment and supplies 
for the extension of British war effort in the Pacific and the sustenance of 
British occupation forces in Germany and Austria. , 

The expiration of the system of mutual support and aid bruised but 
did not rupture relations among the members of the coalition. Who knows 
how differently later events would have developed if the Lend-Lease 
program had been followed at ottce by another of equal dimensions in 
support of the peace-time efforts of the countries that had stood together 
against Germany? Conceivably this could have checked the warping of 
their attitudes which was by then well under way. But that is improbable, 
since the emerging subjects of dissension between the West and the Soviet 
Union were many and hard. 

* A summary account of American policy in regard to the provision of Lend-Lease aid 
for Britain and out other Western European allies is given in Supplementary Note a. 

5- The Quarrel over Poland 

Of all the quarrels within the coalition at the time of the German 
surrender, the one over Poland was the most taut and trying. The British 
and American governments were sure that the Soviet Union was bent 
on dominating the country. Despite all denials, its acts seemed to them 
clearly directed toward that end. Opposingly, the Soviet government 
chose to find malevolent intent in the stubborn resistance to its wishes. 
It professed to believe that the western democracies wanted the Soviet 
Union to remain exposed to assault from the west, and were bent on 
maintaining in Poland a government which, in the guise of independence, 
would be unfriendly. How closely aggression twines around fear; how 
frequently it feigns to be fear! It is in this dark tunnel in the nature of 
nations that peace is most often lost. 

The three Heads of Government at Yalta, in February 1945, had 
agreed on the ways whereby the Polish Provisional Government, formed 
by disciples of Moscow, was to be reorganized so as to qualify for 
recognition by the United States and Great Britain, and on the general 
location of the new Polish frontiers. But the accord was ambiguous in 
the first respect, and incomplete in the second. 

On what should be done about the government, the formula, to 
which Churchill and Roosevelt had given their resigned approval, 
read (in the Declaration on Poland): “The Provisional Government 
which is now functioning in Poland should ... be reorganized on a 
broader democratic basis with the inclusion of democratic leaders from 
Poland itself and from Poles abroad.” Whether Churchill realized that 
Stalin believed he and Roosevelt were assenting that groups loyal to 
Moscow would have dominant influence in the made-over government 
is hard to tell; in his memoirs the thought is not expressed. But Roose- 
velt knew it. His misgivings had been eased by the affirmation in the 
same declaration that the reorganized Provisional Government “shall 
be pledged to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as 
possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot.” Any chance 
left that the Polish people might be free to choose their own government 
and fix their national policies depended on the honest fulfillment of this 
pledge. It had been arranged that Molotov and the American and 
British Ambassadors in Moscow (Harriman and Clark Kerr) should 
meet as a group to work out the steps by which this accord was to be 
carried out. 

About frontiers the sustained argument at Yalta had been only par- 

r 3* 3 


tially resolved in that part of the Declaration which read: “The three 
Heads of Government consider that the Eastern frontier of Poland 
should follow the Curzon Line with digressions from it in some regions 
of five to eight kilometres in favour of Poland. They recognize that 
Poland must receive substantial accessions of territory in the North and 
West. They feel that the opinion of the new Polish Provisional Govern- 
ment of National Unity should be sought in due course on the extent of 
these accessions and that final delimitation of the Western Frontier of 
Poland should thereafter await the Peace Conference.” 

Stalin had been determined to extend Soviet territory westward to 
the so-called Curzon Line. He had insisted that the whole eastern 
segment of Poland, which he wanted, was not only Russian by habitation 
and historical heritage, but also vital for the protection of the Soviet 
Union. Churchill, whatever regrets he may have had that a former 
British Prime Minister had proposed this line as a just and suitable 
Soviet-Polish frontier, had not opposed it . 1 Roosevelt had agreed to 
it, in the belief that it was futile to try to deny to the Soviet Union 
what its armies could take and hold whether or not he and Churchill 
consented. But the Polish Government in Exile, resident in London and 
still regarded by the British and American governments as the only 
legitimate government of Poland, had been bitter about this turnover 
of territory to the Soviet Union. So had been, the commanders of the 
valiant Polish armed forces who were fighting side by side with western 
soldiers and airmen. 

Both Churchill and Roosevelt had been disposed to make up to 
Poland for this severance of its estate in the east. It would be amply 
compensated, they judged, if Poland received from Germany that part 
of East Prussia south of the Konigsberg line, plus Upper Silesia and the 
area up to the line of the Oder River . 2 Thus bounded, the new Poland, 
it was reckoned, would be almost as large as the old and have a longer 
seacoast on the Baltic and greater sources of raw materials, especially 
coal. But at Yalta the President and Prime Minister had been faced by 
a claim for more by the Provisional Polish Government, backed strongly 
by Stalin and Molotov. Stalin urged that Poland’s western frontier be 

, _ T* 1 ' C ' lr2 ° n L,ne Mmtd after Lord Curzon, the Secretary of State for Foreign 
AHi.r*, who* name wa* signed to the message, to the Polish and Soviet governments 
u uly >9 to) in which it was proposed. But actually it had been sponsored by Uoyd George, 
the Pnme M mister . See the Supplementary Note on the origins of this line in Feis Churchill 
~~-Rcotevtlt—Slalin l page. 657 ff. * 

*' ^ S : ( Pro P° ulFebraat 5 l >‘9is-U.S.Dept. of State . . . , The Conferences at Malm 
•nj Ytha, if is, page 97a. ' 



carried to that Neisse River (there was another of the same name further 
to the cast) which flows south from the Oder River where that stream 
turns off to the southeast. 3 

Several million Germans lived in this large additional area, almost no 
Poles. These, presumably with the other six million or so Germans who 
lived east of the Oder, would be compelled to find new homes in the 
rest of Germany. That vulnerable country would be the more exposed to 
Soviet influence if Poland came under Communist control. Most signif- 
icantly, it was foreseen that sooner or later this frontier might have 
to be defended by force. For these reasons Churchill and Roosevelt 
firmly refused to accede to this enlarged claim. 

The issue had remained open. But the situation had not waited upon 
the consultations of the statesmen. During the spring many of the 
Germans had fled before the advancing Red Army and the Poles; and 
most of those who tried to stay were expelled. 

In Moscow the Commission of Three had met many times. Their talks 
tore the Yalta accord apart, by distortion. The story of the tiring and 
repetitive arguments that wore out the patience of the American and 
British members has been told elsewhere. Harriman and Clark Ken- 
concluded that the Soviet government would not permit the emergence 
of any Polish government that might not be securely subject to its will ; 
and that it was seeking to make Poland merely a protective and sub- 
missive projection of Soviet power. 

After this failure Churchill and Roosevelt had sent distressed appeals 
to Stalin, and submitted several proposals that would allow the Commis- 
sion to go on with its task. Stalin had answered them sternly. The 
Soviet position, he had alleged, conformed with the Yalta accord. It 
was they who were now trying to void it, by seeking to get rid of the 
Provisional Government in favor of a wholly new one. He had charged 
them with wanting to use persons who were known to be against all main 
points of the Yalta accord. Among those he had in mind was Miko- 
lajczyk, the former Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile, 

* The Matthews Minutes of the discussion ta the Third Plenary Session on February 6, 
'9tJ page 6Jo), record Stalin as saying: “I prefer that the war continue a little 

longer and gi\e Poland compensation in the west at the expense of Germany. I asked 
Mikola jeryk what frontier he wanted. Mikolaicisk was delighted to hear of a western 
frontier to the over Neisse. I must say that 1 will maintain this line and ask this conference 
to support it. There are risers. The east and the we«. 1 fa» or the west.** 

The other Neisse nver, called the Eastern Neisse, branches off from the Oder sooth of 
Breslau and continues southward through the town of Xeis«c. 

r 34 1 

who despite his resignation was its leading political figure. Why should 
they not, Stalin and Molotov had urged, adopt for Poland the same 
terms on which a new government for Yugoslavia had been formed? 
Why not? Of the twenty-seven top places in that government, twenty 
were held by Tito's subordinates and only six by men of other groups 
and parties; and this minority were finding out that they had no in- 
fluence and could not protect their supporters. 

As a way of marking his displeasure at this resistance to his will, 
Stalin — on a pretext — had sent notice that Molotov would not be able 
to attend the San Francisco conference. The many Americans whose 
longings were centered on that venture in international creation were 
dismayed. But then, on an evening when he and Harriman spoke of 
Roosevelt’s death, Stalin had relented. As a gesture he had said he would 
let Molotov go after all. The news that Molotov’s flat but familiar 
visage would be among those around the head table at that assembly was 
strangely reassuring. 

While Molotov was in Washington, not only the officials of the State 
Department but President Truman himself, in a blunt talk on April 23, 
had tried to get him to give ground on Poland. They had failed. All 
his responses had been akin to the one given to Stettinius when that 
affable but often inept Secretary of State solicited his approval of 
language to be used in a public announcement indicating to the world 
that “we are working in collaboration and unity particularly prior to 
the solemn task just facing us of setting up a world organization.” The 
coral-like Soviet Foreign Minister had answered that we could “prove 
to the world our collaboration” when we had “achieved a settlement of 
the Polish question,” but this could not be done “without first con- 
sulting the Warsaw Poles.” 

None of the later entreaties by Churchill and Truman had swayed 
Stalin. In the rejoinder he sent on April 24, on receiving Molotov's 
report of his talk with the President, Stalin asserted, after reviewing 
the record and the equities as they appeared to him, that the American 
and British governments were putting the Soviet Union in an unbearable 
position, trying to dictate to it. And he had been unmoved by the last 
lament (April 28) that Churchill addressed to him before the German 
surrender: “There is not much comfort in looking into a future where 
you and the countries you dominate, plus the Communist parties in 
many other states, are all drawn up on one side and those who rally 
to the English-speaking nations and their associates or Dominions are 

[ 35 ] 


on the other. It is quite obvious that their quarrel would tear the world 
to pieces and that all of us leading men on either side who had anything 
to do with that would be shamed before history .” 4 

The Soviet government was making surer each day that the Warsaw 
government could not be displaced and could not turn aside from 
Moscow. In the face of open American and British opposition it had 
signed a mutual-aid pact with that unrecognized regime. This action 
Molotov had defended, while in San Francisco, saying that since the 
Warsaw government was the only one functioning in Poland the Soviet 
government had to deal with it, to assure order as the Red Army fought 
its way into Germany. 

And then, defiantly and without consulting the western allies, the 
Soviet High Command committed to the Warsaw government the 
control of the whole region to the Western Neisse — including areas 
within the designated Soviet zone. When first quizzed about this action, 
the Soviet government had argued that it did not conflict with agree- 
ments with the American and British governments about occupation and 
control of Germany, because “neither in the aforementioned agree- 
ments nor in the decisions of the Crimean Conference is the question 
of administration of occupied German territory touched upon.” This 
contention, while literally true, was an abuse of good faith. While 
negotiating these accords, the Soviet government had never questioned 
the assumption that no one of the three occupying powers could transfer 
control of any part of its zone except by common consent. 

The Soviet government avowed also that this step would not affect 
the determination of Poland’s future frontiers. That opinion was shown 
to be false even as it was being uttered. The Prime Minister of the 
Provisional Government had said in a broadcast (on March 31) that 
“Besides Gdansk [Danzig] we have received back the Masurian lands, 
Lower and Upper Silesia, and the hour is not distant when the Polish 
frontiers will be established on the Neisse, the Oder, and the Baltic 
shores.” The Polish press construed the action similarly, telling of it 
in such headlines as “All Silesia unites with Poland!” In effect this area, 
as well as East Prussia (except that section kept for itself by the Soviet 
Union), was being taken over by the Poles. 

But the American and British governments chose to treat the pre- 
tenses as sincere. Thus on or about May 8, the day after the German 
surrender, George Kennan, in charge of the American Embassy while 
Harriman was in the United States, left a memo at the Soviet Foreign 

* Thi* “ printed in full in Stalin Correspondence, vol 1, pages 


Office, as instructed. This registered for the record the Soviet assurance 
that the transfer to Polish civil administration of territory that was 
German before 1939 had no relation to the question of the boundaries. 
It stated that the American government welcomed this assurance and 
assumed that the occupied German areas in question would remain 
effectively under Soviet occupation, with local administration entrusted 
as a matter of convenience to local Polish officials who were in no way 
responsible to the Warsaw government. On leaving this memo, Kennan 
reminded the Soviet recipients that the American government was against 
any change in the status of enemy territory without prior agreement of 
the several United Nations. Thus it was attempted to turn pretense 
into practice. 

Meanwhile the Soviet secret police had arrested all the remaining 
leaders of the Underground Army who were attached to the Government 
in Exile and to the political parties still loyal to it. They were lured into 
coming out of their hiding places in Poland by hints that the Soviet 
government wanted to talk with them about the political future of 
their country, and by a guarantee of personal safety. For weeks the 
Soviet government had said it did not know where these sixteen men were. 
The British and American governments had continued to inquire, since 
rumors of what had happened were spreading. Then, after putting their 
prisoners through the usual secret inquisition, the captors accused them 
of being guilty of diversionary acts at the rear of the Red Army, and of 
terrorism and spying. They were to be brought to trial.® 

Undeterred by the anger aroused in the American and British govern- 
ments by the offensive Soviet treatment of their views, Molotov had 
persistently sought to get them to invite the Soviet ward, the Polish 
Provisional Government, to send representatives to the San Francisco 
Conference. Truman, aligning himself with Churchill, had bluntly re- 
fused the request, in his message to Stalin on May 4: “The meetings of 
the three foreign secretaries on the Polish matter have not yet produced 
a formula which is satisfactory. I consider it of the utmost importance 
that a satisfactory solution of the problem be worked out as soon as 
possible. I must tell you that any suggestion that the representatives of 
the Warsaw Provisional Government be invited to San Francisco, con- 
ditionally or otherwise, is wholly unacceptable to the United States 
Government. To do so would be the acceptance by the United States 

5 By this time a record of guilt bad been made out of their confessions under detention. 



government of the present Warsaw Provisional Government as repre- 
sentative of Poland which would be tantamount to the abandonment of 
the Yalta Agreement,” 

Stalin had been just as plain-spoken in his rejoinder, saying that 
“We insist and shall continue to insist, that only people who have 
demonstrated by deeds their friendly attitude to the Soviet Union, who 
are willing honestly and sincerely to co-operate with the Soviet state, 
should be considered in the formation of a future Polish government.” 

Thus, as the war against Germany ended, the members of the coali- 
tion were sharply at odds over Poland. Both the American and the 
British government had tried hard to reach a compromise accord clearing 
the way to the formation of a Polish government that they as well as 
the Soviet Union could recognize, thus mending tins ugly rupture in 
the coalition. They were to keep on trying. But a reflective reader, after 
following the outcome of their effort, may wonder if they were well 
advised to do ■so. Either of two other courses might have saved mote 
freedom for the Polish people: a fixed stance of opposition, backed by 
American and British armies in Europe} or a complete dissociation, after 
spoken protest, from the Soviet course in Poland. 

[ 38 ] 

6. The Tussle with Tito over Frontiers 

Next in pitch to the row over Poland was the quarrel with Tito over 
his efforts to extend the realm of Yugoslavia . 1 He was bent on taking 
over the adjacent region that had been added to northeast Italy after 
the First World War. This was called by the Italians the province of 
Venezia Giulia; it bounded on Austria to the north, Yugoslavia to the 
east. In its southern section along the Adriatic were the port cities of 
Fiume and Trieste, on opposite sides of the base of the Istrian Peninsula. 
Railways and roads leading to Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans ran 
through the province in north and east directions. Thus the region was 
deemed to have both commercial and strategic value. In and about 
Trieste and the Istrian Peninsula there were many Croats, and in some 
more northern places many Slovenes mingled with greater numbers of 

It had been foreseen that Yugoslav troops and partisans would have 
made their way into these areas before the war was over. Once there, it 
was feared they would not get out or give them up. This was a threat 
to the rule upheld by the American government that countries should 
abstain from grasping territory by force, and that all changes in frontiers 
should rest until they were passed upon at a peace conference. The 
historian who sans the whole horizon of the post-war world will observe 
how hard the State Department clung to this rule in regard to some of 
the disputed territorial questions in Europe. Even though Roosevelt at 
Cairo, Teheran, and Yalta had agreed that China was to have much of 
the Japanese Empire, and that the Soviet Union might reabsorb the 
Baltic states and have part of East Prussia and the eastern sections 
of Poland, the Department sustained the principle that fair foresight, 
not force or diplomatic bargaining, should determine the relocation of 
the national frontiers after the war was won. 

There were also more definite reasons why the British and American 
governments were worried over this particular occurrence. A Yugoslav 
claim to the region would arouse resentment among the Italian people 
against their weak and faltering government, and cause a transfer of 
support to the Italian Communist Party. It might also hinder the main- 

'-TlTijiiRnfs'feor e) Vnrtnota alii V.ivh’is 7 oiWim Era, -vo'i. I, are 'in'rormafive pub- 
lished sources of information about American policy, and C R. S, Harris’ book Allied 
Military Administration of Italy , especially Chapter ta, ‘'Frontier Problems,” is a lucid 
source about British pol)C>. But none, in my opinion, adequately reveals the differences 
of judgment and wavering of decision both within each of the two goi erosion* and be- 

[ 39 ] 


tenance of western military forces of occupation in Austria, because 
the port of Trieste and lines of communication from there to Austria 
were needed for the supply and movement of troops. Furthermore, if 
Tito was unchallenged, there were signs that he would also try to 
annex by similar methods adjacent parts of Austria. 

Churchill and the new Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean, 
General Alexander, had, during the dosing period of the war, sought 
to avert trouble by getting Tito to agree to the extension of Allied 
Military Government (AMG) over the whole of the province of Venezia 
Giulia as elsewhere in Italy. Tito had said he would not oppose the 
presence of Allied Military Government in the northern part of the 
area, or the line of communication to Austria, if the Yugoslav avil gov- 
ernments already installed in many localities were retained. He disputed, 
however, the need for Allied occupation of the Istrian Peninsula south 
of Trieste. 

Seeking to obviate a dash, the British government had tried to get the 
American government to agree to the idea of dividing the disputed area 
into two zones, leaving the east and southeast section under Tito’s con- 
trol. But the State Department continued to oppose dissection as a 
solution. Thus as the fighting in Italy ended, there loomed the question 
of what to do if Tito would not give in. Should the Allies merely order 
their armies to take over, even if they had to drive out Tito’s troops and 
partisans? And if they did so, how would the Soviet government react? 

The differences of judgment between the British and Americans as 
to what had best be done had left Alexander without orders. Since he 
could not wait for them any longer, he informed the Combined Chiefs 
of Staff, on April 26, that unless otherwise instructed he would use an 
Anglo-American task force to take over those parts of Venezia Giulia 
essential to his military assignments. Thereafter he would proceed to 
set up Allied Military Government in this area. That organization would 
do its work through such suitable local personnel, whether Italian or 
Yugoslav, as were found on the spot. His thought was to explain his 
intentions to Tito before sending his troops into Venezia Giulia, and 
to say that any Yugoslav forces remaining there must necessarily come 
under his command. On the next day, April 27, Churchill urged 
Truman to approve this try of Alexander’s. He said it seemed to him 
“vital to get Trieste if we can do so in the easy manner proposed, and 
to run the risks inherent in these political-military operations. . . . The 
great thing is to be there before Tito’s guerillas are in occupation. There- 


GrcwTkcd Z tactic, and the Seoetaty of War went along -th h ^, 
after consulting the Joint Chiefs, Trunvm 

accomplish v. hat I “" d " st ”“ , ' s „ m3ttcr 0 f military nccessriy.”- 

other areas formeriyundtultahu. , ^ ^ the Combined 

Conformably, on the a8th, A1 f t A1M Military 

Chiefs (in FAN ^uUa incing Fiurne, S 

Government m l the whole ^ (csccpt Zant). The 

Istrian Peninsula and * 0 Kc „ u ^ provid5d jo ;„ t Iy by 

combat forces and avil affairs withdraw his 

the British and the Amencmv &ZZ1Z 1 to be ashed to 
troops and pa««ansj and d So E ^ authorised to carry 

join in persuading him to do so But A1 ass5n , if 

the plan into effect wtthout watring ^ Jugo^ ^ ^ fa 


the svay west to the ^ including Xliestc . In that area 

that is over most of „ ou , d Naturally” continue to 
Yugoslav nutoj answer a direc t clash between Allied forces and 
function. Af d Th British Chiefs of Staff, through whom 

Si ',M“ -eiU decided to le, him proceed, bu, with 

2 Triumph end. Tragedy, P J B' 55*- Tfuman bave a afreet understanding of Church- 

3 Year of Decision!, P^' J+4 _ t , u ggested by the fact that very soon thereafter 

ill-, idea at this -me That he $ a £ out British wishes a „d intentions. 

Stunson and M * r, {* a ! 1 fl J ?u , the Prime Minister wanted to move U.S -British forces into 
They had thought briefly that the ^ DtpartmeBt „ tb ; s But they found out 

the whole of the prom _ r , “ f W ar made in his diary on May a (four days 

otherwise. The entry that he becre ^ . <t found oot in thc Staff conference 

after FAN yjS was sent) in . s ute Department’s position in regard to the 

that the British in favor of arting in concert with the Tito force, 

occupation of Venezia b |he w h 0 le plan of the State Department was apparently 

instead of acung against them s h before he died. This very strongly affected the 

b ,«d on ■. . d ”“™ l£df^3; e li wk~ .1* i,, in .d,i„. E M.nhnll » 

position which 1 had ® j , hoo „ht the State Department was backed by the British 
back up the State epa _ ^ j eave Ae reader pirnled as to who was confused 

.oswad of oppose * ^ ^ chorehill was going through one of his rapid transition. 


care. He was told to go forward as far as he could, but if he met 
Yugoslav forces who refused to cooperate, he should halt, parley, and 
consult the Combined Chiefs. He should not use force except in defense. 

Churchill, on this same day (April 30), sent Truman another running 
account of his impressions of the situation. He regarded as good what 
he called the military part of the instruction that had been sent to 
Alexander (FAN 536)— presumably having in mind the authorization 
to act without waiting for Soviet and Yugoslav assent if he felt there 
was military reason. In his opinion, Churchill said, it was a delusion to 
suppose that the Yugoslavs, with the Soviet government behind them, 
would agree to our entering or taking control of Venezia Giulia and 
Flume. But the American and British governments, in their measures 
to clear Italy, including the Adriatic Provinces, of the Germans, had 
never undertaken to be limited by the approval of either the Yugoslavs 
or the Russians. Were not their forces as entitled to move freely into 
Trieste, if they could get there, as were the Russians to win their 
way into Vienna? “We ought if possible to get there first and then talk 
about the rest of the province.” Let Alexander, therefore, carry out the 
plan that the Combined Chiefs had approved, do so as quickly and as 
secretly as possible, and above all else, take possession of Trieste from 
the sea before saying anything more to the Yugoslavs or Russians. 

Even though the Americans had previously opposed the idea of an 
agreement with Tito providing for a dividing line of control, they now 
became upset by Churchill’s bold attitude. Withered suspicions revived 
— that the British might be trying, for reasons of their own, to get us 
involved in fighting the Yugoslavs and maybe the Russians. Stimson, 
Speaking both for himself and for General Marshall, warned Acting 
Secretary of State Grew of the danger just before Grew joined Leahy 
and others at a conference on the 30th with the President at the White 
House.* Either because he had formerly been merely sustaining the 
opinions of his staff, who were defenders of the Italian interest, or be- 
cause he was unnerved by Stimson, Grew now wavered. At the con- 
ference at the White House, he, who up to then had favored a firm 

* Grew print* the text of the memo of hb title with Stimson in Turbultni Era vol. 
*> P»fe 1 <7?- He recounts that Stimson reid to him over the telephone an excerpt from s 
V?'? r over to Grew. This said that "Since present plans indicate the 

United States will hate little or no military interest in the areas . . . once the Germans 
art eliminated therefrom, the continued presence of U.S. forces in these areas and their 
operations, feetome a political matter.’* It asked for clear-cut guidance at once from the 
State Department. Stimson then went on to tell Crew how worrried he and General Mar- 
shall were about possible developments, and remarked that in going along with Grew up to 

then he had gone again 

: the wishes of his atafi. 

1 42 ] 


course, said that the State Department felt it would be most unwise to 
employ American forces to fight Yugoslavs . 5 

Truman was swayed by the anxieties and views of his advisers. His 
resultant answer to Churchill was a criss-cross of do’s and don’t’s. The 
President was willing to have Alexander go ahead with his attempt to 
secure control of Trieste and the Istrian Peninsula and lines of com- 
munication to Austria. But the General should not fail to tell Tito 
what he was going to do, and before getting into a scrap he should com- 
municate again with the Combined Chiefs. “1 think this is important,” 
he concluded, “for I wish to avoid having American forces used to 
fight Yugoslavs or being used :n combat in the Balkan political arena.”* 
Alexander’s troops were by then on the way to Trieste. Thus on 
May t he sent a warning to Churchill. He was now sure, he said, that 
Tito would not withdraw the Yugoslav troops from Trieste or Istria 
unless the Russians told him to do so.’ 

But during the night of May 1-2, Alexander continued to go for- 
ward. The division in the forefront of the advance, the Second New 
Zealand Division, met up with Yugoslav troops at Monfalcone, a few 
miles north of Trieste. The officer in command, General Freyberg, 
informed the commander of the Yugoslav forces on the spot that he 
was going to continue on to Trieste. So he had, receiving the surrender 
of the German soldiers that were in the town and taking control of the 
dock area. Yugoslavs were roaming over other sections of the town. 
Alexander’s forces also went into Gorizia, although Yugoslav partisans 
were there before them. Thus, in much of Venezia Giulia, Allied and 
Yugoslav forces were in close contact as each strove to extend its area 
of occupation. As the last Germans fled, they seemed about to scrimmage. 

At this juncture all the contestants paused and sent up rockets. 
Stimson and Marshall in eSect warned the President to look out or 
Americans would be entrapped in the Balkans, and the Russians might 
come to the support of the Yugoslavs or even retract their promise to 
enter the war against Japan. 

The Italian government bemoaned the situation, and implored the 

* Grew, Admiral Leahy, William Phillips (a former Undersecretary of State who was 
temporally serving in the State Department), and H. Freeman Matthews (Director of 
the Office of European Affairs) were present at this conference with Truman, Neither 
Stimson nor Marshall was asked to participate. The memo that Grew made of the talk is 
printed in Turbulent Era, voh a, page 1475. 

* Fear af Decisions, page a4j. 

* Triumph and Tragedy, page yjj. 



American and British governments to take control of all of Venezia 
Giulia. Cries of “Trieste is Italian” were heard in the streets of Rome. 
The American Ambassador, Kirk, reported that Allied prestige in Italy 
would be damaged if Allied Military Government was not maintained 
at least in Trieste and the surrounding areas. If it were not, he warned, 
the government of Italy might topple, and we might have to use 
American forces to keep order in that country. From his talks with his 
British colleague, Macmillan, he got the impression that our unwilling- 
ness to risk conflict with Yugoslav forces was disposing the British to 
give in. 

Tito protested. He justified the earlier advance of Yugoslav forces 
On the ground that after Alexander made what he called a “truce” with 
the enemy forces in north Italy, the Germans could have transferred 
troops eastward toward Slovenia. Now that the Germans were gone, 
What military reason could there be for the Allied thrust into Trieste 
and nearby areas? He was willing, however, he told Alexander, to 
have SACMED use the ports of Trieste and Pola, and the lines of 
communication leading to Austria. Since the control of the government 
of the region had become a political rather than a military question, 
he, as Prime Minister, “must first of all take care of the interests of 
[his] country.” Thus he kept his troops under orders to hold on to the 
territory up to the Isonzo River, and to try to establish civil control even 
in the eastern part of the adjoining Italian province of Udine. In sections 
of Trieste and elsewhere Tito’s men were arresting the Italians of 
importance, conscripting others for forced labor, seizing banks, and re- 
quisitioning grain and other supplies. But they avoided clashes with 
Allied troops. 

Alexander and his field commanders behaved with similar caution. 
While awaiting orders from the Combined Chiefs, they devoted their 
efforts to developing and operating the lines of communication from 
Trieste to Austria. 

Now the British Chiefs again sought to get their American colleagues 
to agree to a dividing line, on one side of which there would be Allied 
Military Government and on the other side of which the Yugoslavs 
would be allowed to exercise control. The State Department then fell 
in with the idea of resolving the dangerous situation by mating an 
accord of this kind with Tito. But, with the effect on Italy in mind, it 
maintained that Alexander’s sphere of control must include a consid- 
erable area surrounding the city of Trieste. The Joint Chiefs thought 
it best to leave the determination of the line to Alexander, who could 

[ 45 ] 


be counted on to do, and to do quickly, whatever could be done without 
getting into a battle with the Yugoslavs. 

Having thus been granted latitude by the Combined Chiefs to com- 
promise, Alexander sent his Chief of Staff, General Morgan, to confer 
•with Tito in Belgrade on May 9. Morgan proposed an accord whereby 
SACMED would control the port of Trieste, the railways and roads 
from there to Austria via Gorizia and Tarvisio, and adjoining areas of 
Venezia Giulia. All regular Yugoslav military forces west of this line 
should be withdrawn, and all irregular forces either withdrawn or 
disbanded. But the Allied Military Government would use any local 
Yugoslav civil administration that was already in the area and working 
well. Morgan strove to make clear that this arrangement was to be 
regarded merely as one of military convenience, and that it should not 
prejudice the ultimate disposal of Venezia Giulia . 8 Thus deference was 
paid to the American attachment to a verbal formula, which in this 
as in other like situations turned out to be of little protective value. 

Tito was not ready to forgo the chance to grasp the whole province. 
Civil government in all parts of it, he insisted, should be controlled by 
the Yugoslav National Liberation Committee. He suggested that mili- 
tary matters and operations, even in Trieste and along the lines of 
communication, should be jointly exercised. And instead of recalling 
the Yugoslav forces that were in the area Morgan reserved for 
SACMED, he sent in more. 

Even more alarmed reports from our Ambassador in Rome were 
tumbling in. As summarized by Grew, for the President, these indicated 
that Tito was proceeding to dominate the entire region, which he 
admitted he intended to keep under the Peace Treaty; that Russia was 
undoubtedly behind Tito’s move, with a view to utilizing Trieste as a 
Russian port in the future; that the Italian Socialists and Communists 
were arguing that the United States and Great Britain were no longer 
able to oppose the Soviet Union in Europe; and that the position of 
Ivanoc Bonomi (Italian Premier and Foreign Secretary) as President of 
the Council was endangered.* Truman now in turn was aroused by 
Tito's intransigence. 

While Truman’s previous messages to Churchill on the Venezia Giulia 

* Tlie text of Morgan’, propool U in Kuril, page j $7. 

Gn ” «> f roniertnee at Whue Hotue, May , 0 , 1945. in TurbuUut Era , vol. *, 
page >479. 



situation had been guarded, his next one (sent on May ix) was fired 
with indignation. He had come to the conclusion, he said, that they 
must now decide whether or not to hold Tito in check, for the Yugoslav 
leader not only was trying to grab control of Venezia Giulia, but had 
an identical claim for south Austria, in Carinthia and Styria; and he 
might even have similar designs on parts of Hungary and Greece if 
his methods in Venezia Giulia succeeded. The stability of Italy and the 
future orientation of that country with respect to Russia, he went on to 
remark, might well be at stake. 

“I suggest,” he concluded, “we instruct our ambassadors at Belgrade 
to inform Tito along these lines: that Venezia Giulia is only one of the 
many territorial problems in Europe to be solved in the general peace 
settlement. The doctrine of solution by conquest and by unilateral 
proclamation of sovereignty through occupation, the method used by 
the enemy with such tragic consequences, has been definitely and solemnly 
repudiated by the Allied Governments participating in this war . . . 
The plan of Allied military government for Venezia Giulia was adopted 
precisely to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution of a problem of 
admitted complexities. It is designed to safeguard the interests of the 
peoples involved . . . With these considerations in mind, and in view 
of the previous general agreement of the Yugoslav Government to the 
plans proposed for this region, my Government has instructed me to 
inform you that it expects that the Yugoslav Government will im- 
mediately agree to the control by the Supreme Allied Commander in 
the Mediterranean of the region which must include Trieste, Gorizia, 
Monfakone and Pola, and issue appropriate instructions to the Yugoslav 
forces in the region in question to cooperate with the Allied commanders 
in the establishment of military government in that area under the 
authority of the Allied commander . . .” 10 

Churchill has told of his reception of this message: “I need not 
say how relieved I was to receive this invaluable support from my new 
companion.” His answer began: “I agree with every word you say, and 
will work with all my strength on the line you propose. ... If the 
situation is handled firmly before our strength is dispersed Europe may 
be saved from another bloodbath. ... I trust that a standstill order 
can be given on the movement of the American armies and Air Force 
[toward home and to the Far East], at any rate for a few weeks. ,m 

1 ° Year of Deciilont , pages 147-4*. 

11 Triumph and Tragedy, page 5 J5- 


A copy of the text of the connected notes which the Ambassadors in 
Belgrade gave to Tito was sent, as Truman had suggested, to Stalin 
for his information. 12 

But what if Tito remained stubborn? Churchill was ready, perhaps 
even eager, to deploy all the divisions under Alexander’s command 
(six British Commonwealth and Indian, seven American, two Polish, 
one Brazilian), if necessary to achieve the purpose. 13 But Truman was 
not. His impulse to act was dampened by the warnings of Stimson 
and Marshall, and by the wish for Soviet entry into the war against 
Japan. So he refused to promise to keep the same number of American 
divisions under Alexander’s command as were there at the time. Nor 
would he join in an immediate order that would have enabled Alexander 
to use American divisions against Tito. Should they not, he asked Church- 
ill, await Tito’s response to the diplomatic presentations before deciding 
what forces if any to use? Unless Tito attacked it was impossible to 
involve the United States in another war. 

Alexander was still under orders to ask for advice from the Combined 
Chiefs before taking any action against Yugoslav forces, although he 
was authorized, if attacked, to use in defense any or all troops in his 
command, including Americans. This left misty ground between active 
and passive policy— which puzzled Churchill. “I thought, from your 
number 34 [of May it],” he observed to Truman, “that if [Tito] 
were recalcitrant, we should have to push his infiltrations east of the 
line you have prescribed. I presume his prolonged intrusion into these 
regions would, if persisted in, constitute ‘an attack.’ ” 14 But Truman 
drew back from the attempt to try to commit him to this conclusion. 

During this same period of suspense a race had been going on between 
the British Eighth Army and Yugoslav partisans for occupation of sections 
of Austria along the Yugoslav-Austrian frontier. The British had reached 
Klagenfurt, on the frontier, three hours before the Yugoslav partisans. 
But the partisans were hindering the Allied Military Government, 
entering hospitals, taking automobiles and food, and harassing the press. 
They were placarding the town with posters proclaiming that: “The 
Jugoslav Army has entered Cannthia in order to bring liberty and 
democracy to the Slovenes and Austrians and clean the land of Nazi 
criminals. Complete victory over Germany has now been gained by 

12 The mesMp: (nm Churchill to Stalin on May > 5 , coat eying the teat of the not. 
Tito. « printed in full m paps 3S**$« of vol. i of Stalin Cormpondence. 

, m«**ge of May ia to Alexander, t ~ ' ' • — 

Y “* •/ Drehmu t page x< t 

[ 48 ] 

n Triumph ani Tragtdy, p,fft SjS. 


Jugoslav partisans also helped by the Soviet Union, England and 
America. \Ve hereby make known that the military authority of the 
Jugoslav Army has now been established throughout all liberated 
Carinthia. The population and all branches of administration are to 
extend aid to our Army and to obey all published decrees uncondi- 
tionally.’' In the town of Villach British troops were also in occupation, 
but the partisans were in control of many nearby villages inside Austria. 

The two seemed on the verge of a clash when on May to the British 
Ambassador in Belgrade was instructed to urge Tito to withdraw all 
Yugoslav forces from Austria at once. This note emphasized that the 
American, British, and Soviet governments, all three, had stated in 
the Moscow Declaration of November i, 1943, that they planned to 
restore a free and independent Austria within 1937 frontiers. Tito was 
asked to respect this line as a provisional boundary between Austria and 
Yugoslavia, pending final settlement at a peace conference. The Prime 
Minister had asked the President to stand by him in this demand, and 
the President had said he would. Tito’s answer, given on the 15th, 
expressed the hope that the British government would consent to Yugo- 
slav troops remaining in occupation of those parts of Austria they had 
seized, in view of great sacrifices Yugoslavia had made for the Allied 
cause. He was willing, however, that they be under SACMED’s 
(Alexander's) command. This was equivalent to accepting the Allied 
ruling, and a few days later Tito agreed to evacuate all his troops from 

But the situation in Venezia Giulia remained edgy, for Tito rejected 
the Allied proposals regarding that province. The essence of his answer 
was a restatement of his belief that the “honor of our army and our 
country demands the presence of the Yugoslav Army in Istria, Trieste 
and the Slovene coastline.” 1 * 

Churchill again called for swift action. In his opinion, as conveyed to 
Truman, the situation could not be left to take care of itself. The 
Allied forces might be encircled or roughly handled. Pressure should 
be put on the Yugoslavs to force them to quit Trieste and Pola and 
return to the lines marked out. 1 ® 

Now Truman was ready to take the risks of such a course. Perhaps 
he was just annoyed by Tito’s defiancej perhaps he was touched by the 

York Thtus, May 10, 

Churchill’i message of May 19 to Tiuman «, with minor omissions, printed in 
Triumph and Tragtly , page 55 S- 

[ 49 ] 


continuation of anxious reports on the way in which the Italian political 
balance was being affected^ or perhaps he was emboldened by word from 
Alexander’s headquarters that Tito would be sensible when faced with 
enough determination and a large enough force. Whatever the reasons, 
at this juncture, in consultation with Grew and the Joint Chiefs, he 
determined (on the 19th and 20th) on several brisk measures. Grew 
was to give out at once a press release that would make it dear that 
the American government thought Tito’s responses unsatisfactory. It 
was to repeat that in our view the dispute “involved the issue of due 
process as opposed to unilateral action that challenges agreements made 
among several powers.” 17 Eisenhower was asked if he could send three 
American divisions under General Patton to the Brenner Pass north 
of Trieste} Admiral King was asked whether he could send some ships 
from the Mediterranean fleet into the Adriatic quickly; and General 
Arnold was asked to alert some squadrons for movement into the same 
area. All reported that they could. 

The dispute had reached a climax. Stalin could avert it, if he would. 
Therefore, despite the fact that the Soviet government had not re- 
sponded to an earlier statement of views and intentions, the President 
decided to bring Stalin up to date and solicit his support. He did so at 
once. 1 ® It may be surmised that there was little actual hope that Stalin 
would join in inducing Tito to give in; but in any case, communication 
with Stalin would ward off any later Soviet charge that we were acting 
without consultation, and avert possible harm to the prospects of the 
San Francisco conference. 

Churchill, on learning from Truman what he had in mind, sped 
word that he was entirely in accord with the measures, with a view to 
making the preponderance of Allied force apparent. 

But even while these steps were being taken, Tito began to show 
some inclination to end the quarrel and to restrain his supporters. The 
Yugoslav commanders moved their main headquarters out of Trieste, 
though not abandoning military control of the city. Tito let the American 
government know that he would agree to having AMG in the area 
west of the line that the Allies had proposed, provided that representa- 
tives of the Yugoslav army were included in the arrangements for mili- 
tary administration, and that AMG acted through the civil authorities 

17 The text of Crew’s statement it in the New York Timex, May jo, t9+5 . 

Text* of thi* message are printed in both Year of Decision!, page t$o, and Stalin 
Correspondence, voL x» pages xjj-jS. 



already set up in the area by the Yugoslavs. He proposed that talks 
should start at once to work out this arrangement. 

Whether the change in Tito’s address to the Allies was due, wholly 
or partly, to intimations that the Allies were preparing to make a show 
of force, or to Soviet advice, is not known. Stalin’s answer to Truman’s 
message, received on the 23rd, while moderate in tone, fitted in with 
the antecedent proposals of Tito and supported them. 

Neither the British nor the American government was willing to 
accede to Tito’s wish to have a share in the military or civilian ad* 
ministration of the area that was to be under the control of AMG. But 
while Alexander tried to convert Tito’s latest offer into an acceptable 
arrangement, they anxiously waited to learn whether he would accept 
less than he wanted and thought he ought to have, or whether they 
might have to impose their terms against his will — and at the risk of 
another inflamed dispute with Moscow. 

Such was the situation before Hopkins went to Moscow. The account of 
how it developed must wait upon the unfolding of other elements and 
strains in the association among the war Allies. 

7» Uncertainties about Germany 

So often in history has the dilemma of how to treat an aggressive 
nation baffled its conquerors! With little transposition the words that 
passed long, long ago between the Persian, Cyrus the Great, and his 
prisoner Croesus, once King of the Lydians, might have been heard at 
this time in the talks of what to do about Germany: 

“But no sooner had Cyrus marched away from Sardis than Pactyes 
made the Lydians to revolt. . • . When Cyrus had news of this on 
his journey, he said to Croesus, ‘What end am 1 to make, Croesus, of 
this business? It seems that the Lydians will never cease making trouble 
for me and for themselves. It is in my mind that it may be best to make 
slaves of them; for now methinks I have done like one that should slay 
the father and spare the children. So likewise 1 have taken with me 
you who were more than a father to the Lydians, and handed the city 
over to the Lydians themselves; and then forsooth 1 marvel that they 
revolt/ So Cyrus uttered his thought; but Croesu3 feared that he 
would destroy Sardis, and thus answered him: ‘O King, what you say 
is but reasonable. Yet do not ever yield to anger, nor destroy an ancient 
dty that is guiltless both of the former and of the latter offense. For 
... it is Pactyes [Hitler] who does this present wrong; let him there- 
fore be punished. But let the Lydians be pardoned; and lay on them 
this command, that they may not revolt or be dangerous to you; send, 
I say, and forbid them to possess weapons of war, and command them 
to wear tunics under their cloaks and buskins on their feet, and to teach 
their sons lyre-playing and song and dance and huckstering. Then, O 
King, you will soon see them turned to women instead of men; and 
thus you need not fear lest they revolt/ ”* 

The members of the coalition had made plans for divided but joint 
occupation and control of Germany. They had agreed that in matters of 
general scope the policies to be pursued in all zones were to be uniform- 
They had also confirmed certain prime and common purposes, such as 
the subduction of German capacity to make war, the extirpation of Na- 
tional Socialism, and the collection of reparations. But they had not 
worked out in the systematic detail needed for the conduct of joint con- 
trol how otherwise they would treat the Germans— what, for example, 
they would do about ordinary tasks of government, or the problems of 

1 As told by Herodotus in the English transUtion by K. D. Godley, Book t, Psiierapht 
»5* »nd tsy. 

economic structure and production, transport, currency and banking, 
public health. Unless accord was reached on such vital matters, and 
unless persons and essential goods were permitted to move between 
tones, and there was a single monetary system for all, separation was 
almost certain. In short, there loomed the question whether, when 
avowals ended and actions started, the members of the coalition could 
reconcile their ideas and purposes sufficiently to control Germany as an 
integral country. 

Conditions in Germany were in general miserable and in some ways 
chaotic. True, the Germans who were whole and well and had roofs 
over their heads were better off in some ways than the people of the 
countries they had invaded. Observers found many Germans, outside of 
the smashed and burned cities, looking healthier, fatter, less tired, and 
better clothed than the British — for they had taken away from their vic- 
tims and unto themselves large quantities of food, all sorts of consumer 
goods, and stocks of machine toois. Bur great devastation filied the eye. 

The most serious physical damage was in the destruction of housing, 
factories, office buildings, and warehouses, especially in the larger cen- 
ters. The extent of this break-up is indicated by the fact that “On an 
average ten Germans . . . were living where only four had been 
living in 1939, even though some of the shelters and cellars in use 
hardly deserved the title of housing.”* The railway system was 
wrecked. None of the main inland waterways, which carried so much 
of German traffic, was in use. Supplies of food were adequate for a 
short while, but the prospects of continuation of supply were precarious. 
The numbers of livestock had been much reduced (cattle, sheep, pigs, 
and goats). The potential production of cereal foods and potatoes was 
threatened by a lack of fertilizers and manpower) and delivery to mar- 
ket was restrained by doubt as to the future value of Germany currency. 
Coal and steel production was less than ten percent of pre-war capacity. 
But dose inspection led to an estimate that for the whole of Germany 
only between fifteen and twenty percent of the industrial plant and 
mines had been ruined beyond repair. 

Almost four million Germans had lost their lives in the course of the 
war, and two million more had been crippled. There was a great sur- 
plus of women. About seven million Germans under arms had sur- 
rendered to the Western armies, and either were in prison camps or 

2 Michael Balfour, in Four-Poeuer Control in Germany and Austria, 1915-46, page* 
7-14, portrays vividly and incisively the economic and social state of Germany at the time 
of surrender. I have drawn on his description, as well as on the reports of American civil 
affairs officers in Germany, for this summary sketch. 

[S 3 ] 


sealed-off areas or were on their vray back to their homes. Other mil- 
lions had surrendered to the Red Army, and were under detention or 
were being compelled to work for their captors. 

There was a compulsive trudge of young and old on the roads. In 
the American and British zones were about three million who had fled 
west before the Russian advance. An uncounted number who had moved 
out of the cities into the country to escape bombing were now trying to 
return. Six million foreigners, almost all of whom had been kept at 
forced labor in Germany, were on the loose. Many were housed in bar- 
racks, where they were managing in summer weather to keep body and 
soul together. In some of these refugee camps or assembly points order 
was well maintained and the premises were clean; in others there was 
crime, disorder, fear, and filth. Many, dazed and distressed, were strug- 
gling toward their former homes in east or west, or some other place. 
Along with them, many soldiers of the United Nations who had been 
freed from German prisoner-of-war camps were wandering back, toward 
their own lines. 

The occupation authorities soon became aware that industrial revival 
depended on free movement between the several zones. Factories in 
each needed parts and raw materials to be had only from the others. 
For coal and raw materials the industries in the eastern zone had looked 
to the west to supplement what was had from their own regional re- 
sources. For foodstuffs the dependence was mutual. The country east of 
the Elbe in the Soviet zone (including that part that was being turned 
over to the Poles) had provided much of the bread grains, potatoes, and 
sugar wanted in industrial areas of the Ruhr and Rhineland, This 
source of supply was vital: it was reckoned that if the western zones 
were compelled to exist on their own production, individual food con- 
sumption during the rest of 1945 could amount to only about eleven 
hundred calories a day. But in turn the Soviet zone was deficient in 
beef, mutton, milk, butter, cheese, fruits, vegetables, fish, and eggs-* 

* Of the 19J7 German territory, 4S percent was now in the Russian rone (or under 
Polish control), 52 percent in the western zones, the corresponding- figures for population 
wf re 42 and jl percent. After the war, however, the relative population of the western 
zones wss much greater then in 19J7, because of flight and forced migration from the 
esst. Between the two areas the percentage distribution of 1957 output was as follows: 

Sugar Betts 

Western Zones 
1 9-S% 




*9 Ji 

1 54] 


While dealing with this situation in Germany each of the occupying 
powers had to reckon with problems of adjustment at home — from the 
needs of war to activities of peace. Those of the United States were the 
easiest; it had, or could surely obtain, everything that was needed. The 
Soviet Union was in great immediate want, being short of many essen- 
tial or useful components of production; but its people and government 
could count on acquiring these in time from their own resources. Great 
Britain could not; in order to feed its people and get most essential 
raw material and equipment, its export trade would have to be quickly 
restored. France, though little damaged, was in the throes of political 
and social turmoil. Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and Norway were all 
suffering the ravages of German occupation. Italy was finding it hard 
to meet minimal needs. Thus, as was well remarked in a later review of 
the experience, “Everywhere the processes of conversion from war to 
peace were fraught with problems, tensions and uncertainties. . . . 
Shortages of all kinds had to be reckoned with. Giving the German 
question the importance due to it was easily confused with favoring the 
cruel enemy at the expense of the unfortunate victim .” 4 

American and British authorities were more aware of the hardships 
the Germans were suffering than they were of those borne by the 
Poles, the Russians, and the other peoples the Germans had assaulted. 
Several million American and British soldiers were living among the 
Germans — who had a way of earning pity for their troubles. In con- 
trast, little was known at first hand of conditions in the countries to 
the east, for there, out of mistrust or pride, American and British ob- 
servers were not given easy access and welcome. As for the Russians — 
the impulse to contribute to their welfare was repressed by their self- 
absorption. There was an impression that western aid and generosity 
during the war had not been fairly appreciated or acknowledged by the 
Russians, and there was resentment of the gruff, tough way in which the 
Russians took as their due whatever was given them. Moreover, the 
two western allies were influenced by contrasting anxieties: the harder 

Human Zone Western Zones 
Cattle 59 St 

Pigs jo jo 

Coal xt.j 

Brown Coal <9 

Steel 14.5 

Source: Economist, June 16, «94J. 

* Balfour, page 14. 





the life of the peoples of western Europe, the more possible that they 
might resort to revolution and perhaps even turn to Communism j and 
the faster conditions of life and work improved in the Soviet Union, 
the more effective its appeals and clamors might be. 

Long before the surrender, several branches of the American gov- 
ernment had been engaged in spirited disputes as to how to deal with 
the Germans. The tale of this wavering argument, which had many 
filaments, has been well told by others . 5 

To guide Eisenhower (and his deputy, General Lucius Clay) as 
Commander in the American zone and prospective member of the 
Control Council, the American authorities had been able to put together 
a succession of policy statements, mauled over and patched by many 
minds.® The various features had been reviewed with British civilian 
and military officials, who were not, however, in accord with some of 
them, especially the more harsh ones. These the British Chiefs of Staff 

6 Nowhere better, as far as I know, than by Professor Paul Y. Hammond in his careful, 
ample, and analytical accounts in The Origins of American Occupation Policy for Germany, 
which he has generously allowed me to read before publication, and by Hajo Hoi born in 
American Military Government, III Organization and Policies. Interesting information 
about preparatory work of the British government is given in E. F. Penrose, Economic 
Planning for the Peace. 

8 The first Interim Directive, J.C.S. 1067, bad been sent to Eisenhower on September 27, 
1944, for his use as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. This was 
under almost continuous critical scrutiny and amendment in the following months. 

A second Revised Directive, J.C.S. 1067/6, had been sent tn Eisenhower on or about 
April a6, subject to final approval by the President. By this time it was foreseen that 
SHAEF would soon be dissolved, and that Eisenhower and General Clay, his Deputy, 
would put the new Directive into effect as Commanders of the U.S. army forces in the 
European Theater of Operations and as prospective American representatives on the four- 
power control council for Germany. 

Only one other important change was made thereafter. On the morning of May 10 
Grew informed President Truman that the final version was virtually complete and would 
be submitted to him later in the day. The President, who bad not been in on the prolonged 
previous discussions of the subject, asked Grew to summarize its main elements. In doing 
so Grew said that one of the main purposes was to eliminate those industries in Germany 
that were able to make implements of war. The President asked whether this included 
light as well as heavy industry, and was told that except for a few specialized branches it 
did not. Then Grew related that Secretary Morgcnthau had wanted to destroy the synthetic 
oil plants, but that the State and War Departments had not thought this advisable as long 
as the oil they could produce might be needed in the American zone. The President said 
he disagreed with Morgcnthau. Actually the same question had been raised about the 
synthetic rubber and aluminum and magnesium plants. All these had been condemned to 
ittiruCuun in J.HS. 1067/6. 'But this order was waived in the latest version, 1067/8. 

That afternoon Assistant Secretary of State Clayton took to the White House Directive 
1067/S, as approved by the Joint Chiefs and all memben of the interdepartmental com- 
mittee who Had worked on it. Morgenthau, who was present, recorded his capilutation to 
superior authority. He said he concurred. The President then formally approved the 
Directive. It was sent to Eisenhower on May 14. 


had refused to adopt and convert into a joint instruction. Hence the 
British government had issued its own Directive for General Mont- 
gomery (who was to be in command in the British zone and to be 
British member of the Control Council), This was similar in scope to 
the American, and like it in many but not all of its elements. 

Even after the post-surrender Directive was sent to Eisenhower (on 
May 14), the furor in American official circles about some of the 
sterner aspects of our policy continued. Reports from the local com- 
manders about conditions in Germany, and about the problems pre- 
senting themselves to the American army units there, impelled Stimson 
to Urge further fast revision of the economic provisions. To President 
Truman he wrote on May 16: 

“Early proposals for the treatment of Germany provided for keep- 
ing Germany near the margin of hunger as a means of punishment for 
past misdeeds. I have felt that this was a grave mistake. Punish her war 
criminals in full measure. Deprive her permanently of her weapons, 
her General Staff and perhaps her entire army. Guard her governmen- 
tal action until the Nazi-educated generation has passed from the stage 
—admittedly a long job— but do not deprive her of the means of build- 
ing up ultimately a contented Germany interested in following non- 
militaristic methods of civilization. This must necessarily involve some 
industrialization, for Germany today has approximately thirty million 
excess population beyond what can be supported by agriculture alone. 
... A solution must be found for their future peaceful existence and 
it is to the interest of the whole world that they should not be driven 
by stress of hardship into a non-democratic and necessarily predatory 
habit of life. 

“All of this is a tough problem requiring co-ordination between the 
Anglo-American Allies and Russia. Russia will occupy most of the good 
food lands of Central Europe while we have the industrial portions. 
We must find some way of persuading Russia to play ball.” 

To Truman this slant of judgment seemed wise and prescient. As re- 
marked by him later, in comment on his talk with Stimson about Ger- 
man prospects and policy, too many peace treaties had been based on the 
spirit of revenge. 7 

OrmtinVi, niter listening to ^lisenViower describe Germany, said that 
his policy toward that country could be summed up in two words, “Dis- 
arm and Dig!” The Allies, he believed, should not assume full re- 

7 Y/w of Decision s, page ijj. 

[ 57 ] 

the time of tension 

sponsibility for Germany, but should only see to it that it could not start 
another war. 

But how would the Russians regard this evolution of the Western 
attitude and this swerve of Western inclination? Were they really in- 
clining to moderation toward those Germans not deeply dyed by Nazism, 
and to giving them another chance, once all elements of their military 
might were destroyed? Or would they regard this turn as a sign that 
the western governments wanted to use Germany as a make-weight, 
perhaps even as a threat, against the Soviet Union? And if so, would 
they perhaps be even more eager to secure undisputed control of all 
adjoining areas of Central and East Europe? 

At Yalta, Stalin and Molotov had been stony in their gaze on Ger- 
many, and had not disguised their wish to break its strength once and 
for all. In their view there was right in revenge, sense in suppression, 
and fairness now in compelling the Germans to serve the victims of 
their aggression. In subsequent months, however, the Soviet attitude, or 
tactics, toward Germany, as reflected in the Soviet propaganda and 
press, had fitfully changed. The line had been softened and threats of 
punishment had been moderated. Only real Nazis were to be brought 
to book. The makers of Soviet policy seemed to have decided to leave 
the way open to a more positive and even half-friendly approach to 
the masses of the German people, though the Germans were to make 
some amends and be kept under various restraints. The Soviet govern- 
ment had not deviated in its support of the main standard features of 
the American program. But the Soviet spokesmen bad carefully re- 
frained from any indications of a desire to make the Germans suffer need- 
lessly, or of intention to use the chance to turn Germany Communist. 
Who was to know whether this tolerance was genuine, or merely a way 
of fooling both the western allies and the Germans? 

A dash over the amount of reparations to be obtained from Ger- 
many was in sight— or rather, a conflict of wishes and wills over whether 
the Soviet Union should be enabled to exact what it thought due and 
just, no matter how much the Germans might suffer, or how hard they 
might have to work, or how much expense might be caused the west- 
ern allies. 

The American government wanted no reparations payments except 
the retention of German assets in the United States. The British gov- 
ernment hoped to get some German equipment and products that would 

1 J8 3 

enable Britain the more quickly to repair war damage. But it was dis- 
posed to adjust its demands to other aspects of policy toward Germany. 

At Yalta a net of principles for a reparations program had been 
woven. This was incomplete, loose in meaning, and based on supposi- 
tions that turned out to be unreal, or at least unrealized. Roosevelt, 
Churchill, and Stalin had agreed that Germany ought to be com- 
pelled to pay reparations for the losses it had caused to the Allied 
nations in the course of the war. The preliminary plan they had ap- 
proved there conceived that the reparations might be made in three 
ways. One was by the removal from Germany, and shipment to the 
beneficiaries, of factories, machinery, vessels, railway equipment, power 
plants, and the like, and shares in German industrial, transport, and 
other enterprises— all to be effected within two years after the end of 
the war. A second was by annual deliveries of goods to be produced in 
Germany during the following years. The third was by the services of 
German labor. 

It had been agreed too that the flow of reparations should be measured 
basically in kind (as it was called)— that is, in terms of so many tons of 
stecl-produdng capacity, so many hundreds of optical lenses, so many 
man-days of work. But Stalin had sought to have stated also the total 
money value of what was to be obtained. Roosevelt and Churchill had 
given in to this wish. Then a stiff difference had arisen as to the sum to 
be named. Stalin had proposed twenty billion dollars, half for the 
Soviet Union. Roosevelt had agreed that such an amount might be 
used “as a basis for discussion” in working out the detailed reparations 
program. But Churchill had refused to go along. He had maintained 
that it was futile to try to fix a figure while the war against Germany 
was still being fought. Who could tell how completely German in- 
dustry and transport might be smashed up or burnt out before the end? 
And what decisions would be made about detaching from Germany 
areas in the east and west, thereby affecting its capacity to pay repara- 
tions? In the Protocol of the Conference the two views had been re- 
corded but not reconciled. This had not deterred the Soviet govern- 
ment from averring later on that in effect the twenty-biliion-dollar total 
had been approved as an approximate objective. 

This complex of contingent uncertainties was to provide 3 wide field 
tor atgameift, msftrcnft, mntwn&d contort. The *ta&: ot dealing wrth 
them, of “working out on the above principles ... a detailed plan for 
the exaction of reparations from Germany,” had been consigned to an 
Allied Reparation Commission to be set up in Moscow. 

C 59 3 


But in the subsequent months, before the war ended, the Commis- 
sion had not come together. The Soviet government was impatient at 
the delay. When Molotov was in Sm Francisco, not long before the 
German surrender, he quizzed Edwin Pauley, the appointed American 
member, about the reasons, and urged that the Commission get going 
quickly on its assignment. Pauley told him that the American govern- 
ment also wanted to get started but was puzzled over certain aspects of 
the question, such as the demands other European countries were mak- 
ing for equipment and products from Germany, the difficulties of 
evaluating industrial plants that might be removed and of forecast- 
ing the needs of the German civilian population. Molotov tried to pass 
over these problems lightly, saying that they would all be solvable 
with a little thought and cooperation. 

In this same talk Molotov was asked about reports that the Rus- 
sians were already moving material and equipment out of their zone 
and into Russia. He said they were only taking what they needed in 
the prosecution of the war — to which Pauley replied that he assumed 
there could be no objection if the commanders in the American and 
British zones did the same. This unregulated snatching of products 
from Germany (as war booty, as military equipment of possible use 
in the war against Japan, or as reparations) soon provoked a nasty 
squabble among the conquerors. The western allies protested at what the 
Russians were doing, because some of the equipment being taken away 
would be needed by the Germans living in the western zones, to get 
along, and therefore its removal would make more trying the task of 
the occupant powers in these zones. The Soviet authorities thought the 
protests indicated indifference to the great needs of the Russian people. 
They, in turn, were entering complaints against undisclosed shipments 
out of the western zones. 

Then another worry flared up in American thought as the depressing 
state of all western Europe became better known. Would the United 
States again be under duress to provide relief and sustenance to all 
its portions, including Germany, as it had been after the First World 
War? This concern found outlet in the guiding instructions given to 
Pauley on May 18, which reaffirmed that “It is and has been funda- 
mental United States policy that Germany's war potential be destroyed 
and its resurgence, as far as possible, prevented by removal or de- 
struction of German plants, equipment and other property.” But the 
instructions restrained the pursuit of this purpose by telling Pauley to 
oppose “any reparations plan based on the assumption that the United 

States or any other country will finance directly or indirectly any recon- 
struction in Germany or reparation by Germany.” Were we again go- 
ing to have to pay in this way for our victory? The American officials 
were asking this question of one another in the discordant weeks after 
the German surrender. 

The question was the more provoking because the Poles were being 
allowed to take control of a large section of the Soviet zone of occupa- 
tion, without leave of the western allies. As will be seen, Stalin later 
passed by or over the protests of his western allies, on the ground of 
practical necessity. And the Americans and British resolved that if this 
area had to be forgone as a source of reparations and of supply for the rest 
of Germany, the Soviet Union as well as the western allies themselves 
would bear the loss. 


8. Friction over the Former Axis Satellites 

Another source of friction at this time was the former Axis satellite 
states of Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. The trouble went back to 
1944, when the German armies were being expelled. The Soviet gov- 
ernment had felt entitled to the decisive word in dealing with them, 
because they were in its neighborhood and because the Soviet Union 
had suSered most from their support of Germany. Thus it had taken 
over from its western allies the lead in the secret discussions about 
armistice terms — overruling them with sullen firmness. 

Misgiving had been turned into mistrust by the course of political 
events in all three of these countries as they were liberated. Commu- 
nist leaders and their local supporters or servants, with the help of 
Soviet officials, military and dvil, won their way to the top, by any and 
all means. The Soviet government showed no patience with criticism 
of this political development. Was it not the small and selfish groups 
in control before the war that had brought these nations to disaster? 
Why should not more socially minded groups be elevated to office? 

In consonance with their purposes and beliefs, the Soviet authorities 
insisted that their representatives, as chairmen of the joint Control 
Commissions formed under the provisions of the armistice accords 
with these countries, should have directive authority. When this atti- 
tude was challenged, the Soviet government flung back the charge that 
the American and British members of these Commissions had as much, 
or more, chance to share in the making of policies as was being accorded 
the Soviet representative on the control organization in Italy. 

Roosevelt — taking over a favored proposal of former Secretary of 
State Hull — had managed at Yalta to get the Soviet government to 
approve a statement of principle called the “Declaration on Liberated 
Europe.” This was an avowal of joint duty to aid the people in states 
regaining their freedom to restore conditions of internal peace, and 
through free elections to form governments responsive to the popular 
will. It stated that “when, in the opinion of the three governments 
(the American, British and Russian!, conditions . . . make such ac- 
tion necessary,'” they would consult at once on the measures needed to 
discharge their responsibilities. The American government clutched 
at this wan promise as though it were a strong obligation. 

The historian must ruefully remark that the history of these three 
countries leaves little evidence that they would have been likely to de- 


velop representative — democratic — free — peaceful — governments, the 
ideal in. the political vision and doctrine of the West, even iE aided to 
do so. At least two of them had never had governments of this sort, 
truly concerned with the welfare of the masses of the people. All had 
been ruled by small, hard-souled groups with royal and military affilia- 
tions. All had turbulent pasts, and while associated with Hitler had 
cruelly treated their political opponents and racial minorities. In sum, 
the remnants of the older order deserved little protection. 

Even though these facts were taken into account, as they scantly 
were by the western diplomats, there were grounds for disliking and 
opposing what was being done. The effort of these nations to cast off 
bad and outworn ways and men was being diverted into a program for 
bringing them under Communist control. To this end the means used 
were detestable: suppression by the Communists not only of reactionary 
groups but of true democratic elements j brutality and excessive restraints 
on individual freedoms. 

Even before the war was over the Soviet government had urged 
that peace treaties be concluded with the regimes it had fostered in these 
three Axis satellites. The American and British governments, however, 
regarded them as having been imposed on the people. They had re- 
fused to recognize them, and scorned the idea of entering into peace 
treaties with them. 

The poor state of their affairs was kept in the fore by reports from the 
American representatives on the Allied Control Commission in Romania 
(General Schuyler) and Bulgaria (General Crane). Both confirmed, in 
a personal talk with the President on May 2, that the Communists, 
though in small minority, had managed to secure control of the local 
governments, because of Russian aid and support. They were convinced 
that the Soviet government was bent on getting and keeping control 
of these countries through subservient groups. They both recounted in 
detail the way in which they were ignored by the Soviet chairmen of 
the Control Commissions on which they served. 

Truman’s impulse, in accord with his wish to keep out of incessant 
political struggles in the Balkan area — as evidenced in the tussle with 
Tito— was to express our displeasure merely by recalling the American 
members of these Commissions. But he was persuaded by Grew that 
t/ai w Aereste, talAed fee •&. naiw dasgfar/ ef imfitad 

of defaulting, the American government ought to exert itself to regain 
an effective part in the direction of the political life of these countries. 

Churchill was more distressed at what was happening than the Amer- 



icans. But he was cramped because in October 1944, in Moscow, he had 
agreed that while the war against Germany was going on the Soviet 
Union should have a dominant part in running the affairs of Romania 
and Bulgaria, in return for Soviet acquiescence in Britain’s right to over- 
see events in Greece. They had agreed that in Hungary there was to 
be an equal division of influence. 

In short, both the American and British governments were con- 
founded by the Communist take-over of the Axis satellites. They saw 
no effective way of preventing it. But they were becoming more 
rather than less determined to resist and retaliate if Moscow ignored 
the vigorous protests forming in their minds. 

g. Anxieties over Austria 

There were anxieties over Austria too. Despite doubts as to how the 
Austrians could manage to get along within their small confines, the 
Allies had not wavered in their derision to detach the country from 
Germany and recreate it as a separate state. They had conceived their 
tasks there as quite different from those before them in Germany. Their 
aim focused on the revival of a nation rather than on the basic reeduca- 
tion of a people, for they believed that a free Austria would turn to 
orthodox democracy, possibly of a socialist bent. 

They had agreed that the occupation and control were to be jointly 
conducted, as in Germany. For this purpose similar accords were re- 
quired, concerning zones of occupation and the system of control. But 
all three allies expected that the occupation would be relatively short, 
giving way to a freely elected Austrian government; and that their con- 
trol would be correspondingly brief and relatively light. 

Because of a wish to avoid any lasting immersion in the affairs of 
Central or Eastern Europe, the first inclination of the American gov- 
ernment was to refuse the onus of a zone of occupation in Austria out- 
side of Vienna. But in December 1944, Roosevelt had been persuaded 
to change his mind. By then it had been derided that the American zone 
in Germany would be in the southwest. Thus what was then planned 
as the American zone in Austria (the province of Salzburg and adjoin- 
ing sections of Upper Austria on both sides of the Danube) was only an 
extension of the zone in Germany, as regards military and supply ac- 

But even after American hesitation ended, the discussion in the EAC 
about zonal boundaries had Jagged. In March the British member 
submitted a definite plan for partition. Soon afterward the Russians, not 
pleased with what the British offered, submitted another. The Soviet 
government asked to be assigned not only the northwest section of 
Austria but also areas toward the west, center, and south. The Joint 
Chiefs of Staff were willing to yield to the Russians two segments of 
the zone that had been marked out in earlier talks for the United States 
— the part of the province of Upper Austria that was north of the curv- 
ing Danube River, and the fringe of the province of Burge ht and (ad- 
joining Hungary). But the Soviet wish to have also a section in the 
southeast corner of Austria, which in earlier talks had been marked for 
Great Britain, seemed to them to outrun reason. In opposing this the 



American government stood by the British. Thus it came about that 
the compact between the allies on zones was still in analysis when the 
war ended. 

So was the connected accord about the allocation of sectors in Vienna. 
Russian military authorities were in control of the whole region around 
that city. The Soviet idea was that the joint charge contemplated should 
extend only to the bounds of the city as they had been in 1938. The 
Americans and British wished it to include adjacent areas that had 
been incorporated into the city while it was under German rule. They 
found the smaller enclosure unsatisfactory for several reasons. There 
was only one airfield within its limits, and that would be in the Soviet 
sector. The western allies would not have enough space in their sub- 
divisions for housing their garrisons, for training and recreation; nor 
would they have adequate facilities for communication or air traffic. 

At the April 9 meeting of the EAC the American member had urged 
the retention of wider boundaries for the Vienna district, or, if that were 
not done, that one of the large airfields in the Soviet zone of Austria 
near Vienna be placed under American control. The British member 
had asked that one airfield in the greater Vienna area be assigned to 
each of the occupying powers. Both had proposed that the Inner City 
(Innere Stadt) of Vienna be not divided into sectors, but be regulated 
by the inter-Allied authority to insure equitable use of its facilities. The 
Soviet member had shaken his head twice or thrice. 

During the following weeks the American and British Ambassadors 
in Moscow had tried to persuade Stalin and Molotov to permit small 
missions of inspection to visit Vienna. The American and British mili- 
tary authorities thought it essential, for the talks about allocation of 
sectors, to find out for themselves what condition the city was in, what 
fatalities there were in its various parts. But in the letters that Harriman 
and Clark Kerr sent Molotov in support of this request, they hinted that 
the visiting missions, when in Vienna, might look into other matters of 
practice and policy— especially into the removal of industrial equip- 
ment from Austria to Russia that was known to be going on. Whether 
for that reason or not, the Soviet Foreign Office turned down the re- 
quest, declaring that the allied missions would not be welcome until the 
accords on both Austria and the rest of Vienna were concluded. Thus 
the western allies were faced with the choice of coming to terms with 
the Soviet Union or reconciling themselves to an indefinite postpone- 
ment of entry into Vienna and the inauguration of joint control of Aus- 

[ 66 ] 


That Stalin had reversed himself was made plain by the answers re- 
turned to personal requests sent him by Churchill and Truman early in 
May for permission to fly survey groups to Vienna at once. In a letter 
to Kentun on the 6th (the eve of the German surrender), VUhinsky 
explained that when Stalin had agreed to such a visit, the Soviet gov* 
ernment had been confident that an agreement about both the zones 
of occupation in Austria and the districts in Vienna would have been 
concluded before the allied mission arrived in Vienna. Then, twisting 
the intent of the petitioners, he went on to say that the Soviet govern- 
ment could not consider having the zonal arrangement decided in 
Vienna, since it v/as within the competence of the EAC. And finally he 
averred that the Soviet government saw no need for these preliminary 
visits of inspection. After all, had not the EAC determined the zones 
for Germany and Berlin before western forces entered the city? 

Churchill became more and more indignant over this willful ex- 
clusion from a country for which the western allies had so real an at- 
tachment. He informed Truman (on May li) that although he was 
witling to have the ultimate determination of sectors in Vienna settled 
in the EAC, he felt that the British and American governments ought 
to keep on insisting that they be enabled first to survey the situation on 
the spot. He asked whether the President would be willing to join him 
in another and more blunt message to Stalin to that effect. Truman— 
while resisting other more positive measures urged on him by Churchill, 
as will be seen presently— agreed to this. So again they appealed to the 
man in the Kremlin, pointing out that since the Germans had been 
expelled from Austria, continued refusal of their request would not be 

Stalin thereupon made one of those occasional concessions to west- 
ern wishes which nourished the belief that though tough, he was not 
immovable. First defending the Soviet wish to have the decision left 
to EAC, he went on to inform Truman that ‘'I have no objection, how- 
ever, to U.S. and Allied representatives going to Vienna to see for them- 
selves the condition of the city and to draft proposals for its occupation 
zones. Marshal Tolbukhin will be instructed accordingly. The under- 
standing is that the United States military representatives should come 
to Vienna at the end of May or the beginning of June, when Marshal 
Tttfknli&a t,, itust -eit -it/cftfc *io lAxamw, ■rtfarrfi?**- 

This seemed to open the way to progress toward an. accord. Churchill, 
however, continued to doubt whether the Russians would truly relax 
their grasp over Austria and Vienna unless compelled to do so. 

1 Statin Correspondence, voL a, page >33. 

[ 67 ] 


But they would give no promises until they had adequate chance to 
find out for themselves whether the self-appointed group was repre- 
sentative of the Austrian people, and could and would act independently. 
The Soviet government did not wait for them to find out. In face of the 
dual requests for time to investigate, the Soviet government, through its 
commander-in-chief in Austria, had gone ahead and recognized Ren- 
ner’s group as a provisional government. 

On April 30, Churchill and Truman, after consultation, sent separate 
notes, of similar tenor, to Stalin. They reproached him for not consult- 
ing them and for not deferring to their wish for time to consider and to 
concert policies. The hasty Soviet action, they concluded, made it the 
more imperative that their representatives proceed to Vienna at once, 
and that the agreements on zones of occupation and control machinery 
be swiftly completed in the EAC. 

It was a fortnight later that Stalin agreed to admit the missions. In 
the interval the Soviet officials in Vienna continued to support and use 
the Renner administration. The Western Allies fretted over the pos- 
sibility that the Soviet Union was bent on achieving in Austria, while 
it could, the same kind of dominance it was exerting over the Axis satel- 
lites. Where the Red Army was, would not the commissars be? 



And there vrzs another current cause for recrimination. Dr. Karl 
Renner, the seventy-seven-year-old veteran Soria! Democratic leader who 
had been Chancellor of the Austrian Republic after the First World War, 
had been brought to Vienna by the Soviet Commander-in-Chief. He had 
been living in retirement in a small country town at the foot of the 
Setnmering Pass. On Easter Sunday, April i, he had left his house 
to try to find the local Soviet military headquarters in order to protest 
what the Russian patrols were doing in a house-to-house search for hid- 
den weapons or German soldiers. He was asked by the Soviet Com- 
mander whether he was prepared to help the Red Army shorten the 
war. Renner had agreed to do so, saying, however, that he would not 
act as a Soviet agent He wanted to speak to the Austrian people out 
of their common memory of his earlier leadership. In a letter to Stalin 
he said that he felt called upon “to assume the task of the liberation of 
Austria from Fascism.” 

Three weeks later Vbhinsky had informed the American and British 
Ambassadors that Renner had presented to the Soviet government a 
p an for creating a provisional Austrian government; that he had the 
legal nght to take this initiative; and that he was going to call together 
tbme former deputies of the Austrian parliament who could be reached 
and ceeide wh them upon the composition of the new government. 

. *>' added that the Soviet government, since it believed that the 
creanon of a prcmsiorul Austrian government could help in effecting 
the complete of Austria, was inclined to help Renner in his 
° ( 115 the Austrian party leaders, after only two days of 

conference, had agreed on the nature and membership of the new 
administration. r 

tfl ^ American and British governments had advised Moscow 
£1™!' d,d t”hed into a derision. They ashed the 

, deftr rec °S"‘> i °» of the Renner or any other 
fI° a P H 'he provmonai government of Austria. Renner then proceeded 
“ " dirral >' ,hm ‘- The new government, he averred, 

a genune national government with partiripants from all the Aus- 
T” that supported the Natis. It included 

■f. A ? h ', P°tts that would deal day-today with 

tte Ausm an People the Ministry „f a, t I„ tCT ior a „d the Mintoy of 

AH ,1 i?- E ,“ * “ d “* d L ">PoId Ffel (Catholic 

Itay) and Ado Schaerf (Soefalis, Party), who became Chancellor 
Am .d‘ , ° f Au5tru after thc elections, Renner asked the 

bacb ” nt21 ^ 0Vcrnmcnts not to keep their hands behind their 


But they would give no promises until they had adequate chance to 
find out for themselves whether the self-appointed group was repre- 
sentative of the Austrian people, and could and would act independently. 
The Soviet government did not wait for them to find out. In face of the 
dual requests for time to investigate, the Soviet government, through its 
commander-in-chief in Austria, had gone ahead and recognized Ren- 
ner’s group as a provisional government. 

On April 30, Churchill and Truman, after consultation, sent separate 
notes, of similar tenor, to Stalin. They reproached him for not consult- 
ing them 3nd for not deferring to their wish for time to consider and to 
concert policies. The hasty Soviet action, they concluded, made it the 
more imperative that their representatives proceed to Vienna at once, 
and that the agreements on zones of occupation and control machinery 
be swiftly completed in the EAC. 

It was a fortnight later that Stalin agreed to admit the missions. In 
the interval the Soviet officials in Vienna continued to support and use 
the Renner administration. The Western Allies fretted over the pos- 
sibility that the Soviet Union was bent on achieving in Austria, while 
it could, the same kind of dominance it was exerting over the Axis satel- 
lites. Where the Red Army was, would not the commissars be? 


The Time of Testing 

io. Differing Ideas about How to Deal with 
the Soviet Government 

It was at Yalta, early in 194$, that the Allies adopted their plans about 
the future occupation of Germany. The nature of these plans was 
testimony to the wartime belief of the western allies, and especially 
of the Americans, that each member of the coalition would be responsive 
to the interests and wishes of the others. It was assumed that they 
would be able to agree on uniform policies to be pursued for all of 
Germany, with due leeway for local differences. Common combat ex- 
perience and shared purposes would prevail, it was judged, over separate 
inclinations. Thus it was supposed that none of the several partners 
in occupation would strive for ascendance over the rest in the adminis- 
tration of Germany; and that there would be no contest in Germany 
between capitalist and Communist ways of living. 

As Soviet egotism and transgression became increasingly apparent, 
British and American authorities began to diverge in their ideas of how 
best to deal with the emerging situation. While the assault on Germany 
was in its last phase, Churchill and his colleagues reverted to the ways 
in which Britain had constrained or confined Russia in the past. They 
urged that the armies on the western front be directed to secure posi- 
tions as far into the center of Europe as possible, and along as many 
enclosing edges of Europe as possible, and then kept in place, in full 
strength. They thought that with Anglo-American diplomacy thus sup- 
ported, the Soviet rulers should be confronted with a choice between 
moderation and coercion. 

But Truman and his colleagues were not so excited about the rifts in 
the coalition, or so sure about their depth or import. They regarded 
disputes about the time-beaten boundaries and alliances between na- 
ttons in the center o£ Europe more calmly. When had all the countries 
of the European complex ever been in stable accord on these questions? 
Should the United States, too, like so many other countries in the past, 
be led into elevating minor conflicts over complicated equities info 
causes of crises? Was it not saner to show patience and friendliness? 

This trend of mind and diplomacy during so critical a period was in 
wml pntf. m ajicsAamrae renittks, of. &$»»»» s ifcV. SsyAtt Com- 

munism. In another, it was a search for a way to subvert these realities. 
When theory tyrannizes over facts, grief is apt to follow; but when fact* 
of the moment tyrannize over theory, the chance of improvement is 

it. British-American Colloquy 

The assault of the allied forces had carried them beyond their allocated 
zones of occupation in Germany. When the war ended, western troops 
were lodged in an area within the Russian zone, extending about four 
hundred miles from north to south, and one hundred and twenty miles 
from east to west, at its greatest length. That they had not gone even 
deeper into it was due, as has been said, to American command rather 
than German resistance. 

Churchill, aroused by Soviet actions and alarmed at indicated Soviet 
intentions, had begun to urge, early in April, that the American and 
British governments wait before redistributing their troops into the 
separate settled zones. Eisenhower proposed that after the armies from 
west and east had made contact, the commanders from each side should 
be free to suggest that the other withdraw within its assigned occupa- 
tion zone; and that such requests should be heeded, subject to military 
necessity. Churchill, in his words, found “that this proposal was pre- 
mature and that it exceeded the immediate military needs.” 1 His reason 
for wanting to delay is clearly summed up in a memo sent to General 
lsmay for the Chiefs-of-StafE Committee, on April 14: “We consider 
that before the Anglo-American armies retire from any ground they 
have gained from the enemy, over and beyond the zones of occupation 
agreed upon, the political issues operative at that time should be dis- 
cussed between the heads of Governments and in particular that the 
situation should be viewed as a whole and in regard to the relations be- 
tween the Soviet, American and British Governments.”* But in the 
affiliated message that Churchill sent to President Truman a few dap 
later he did not reveal the scope of his thought so plainly. He suggested 
merely that western troops be not retired until the Allied Control Coun- 
cil for Germany had been set up and the Russians had agreed to share 
the anticipated food surpluses in their zone with the other zones. 

Eisenhower and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were displeased at the 
Prime Minister's wish to “intrude” political purposes in what they re- 
garded as a military matter. The difference had been abridged, how- 
ever. Churchill accepted the principle that the American and British 
troops in Germany and Austria should retire to their respective zones 
as soon as the military situation permitted; the Americans agreed that 

this should not be done until the Control Councils for both countries 
were set up and the bounds of the 2ones of occupation in Austria were 

Churchill had submitted to Stalin a plan combining these several ac- 
tions, and Truman told Stalin he agreed with it. On re-reading this 
message, of April 27, it is hard to decide whether the two western al- 
lies were clear and at one about their purposes. The pertinent para- 
graph read: “When the fighting is finished the next task is for the Al- 
lied Control Commissions to be set up in Berlin and Vienna, and for 
the forces of the Allies to be redisposed and to take over their respective 
occupational zones. The demarcation of the zones in Germany has al- 
ready been decided upon, and it is necessary that we shall without delay 
reach an agreement on the zones to be occupied in Austria at the forth- 
coming meeting proposed by you in Vienna.” 3 

During the next week the Prime Minister’s ideas roved over this 
area of derision. They were candidly expressed only, perhaps, in the 
message he sent to Eden (who was in the United States) on May 4 — 
just three days before the German surrender: “First, the Allies ought 
not to retreat from their present positions to the occupational line until 
we are satisfied about Poland, and also about the temporary character 
of the Russian occupation of Germany, and the conditions to be es- 
tablished in the Russianised or Russian-controlled countries in the 
Danube Valley, particularly Austria and Czechoslovakia, and the Bal- 

In a message to Truman two days later, he observed, after urging 
that as soon as possible there should be a meeting of the three Heads of 
Governments: “Meanwhile we should hold firmly to the existing posi- 
tion obtained or being obtained by our armies in Yugoslavia, in Aus- 
tria, in Czechoslovakia, on the main central United States front, and on 
the British front, reaching up to Lubeck, including Denmark. . . . 
Thereafter I feel that we must most earnestly consider our attitude 
towards the Soviets and show them how much we have to offer or with- 
hold.” 1 

During the following days he propounded this advice over and over 
to Truman, as in his famous Iron Curtain message of May 12, in which 

* The whole text of thij important message, of which this quotation is only one para- 
graph, it in Triumfh and Tragedy, pages 517-18. 

4 This section of the message to Eden is italicized in the account that Churchill published 
in Triumph and Tragedy, pages 30Z-03 . 

B For the first tentence Churchill again tited italics in Triumph and Tragedy, page joi. 



he concluded, “Surely it is vital now to come to an understanding 
with Russia, or see where we are with her, before we weaken our armies 
mortally or retire to the zones of occupation.”® 

But the American decision-makers, civilian and military, were not 
open to these pleas. None of them was ready to renounce past policies 
or methods, or to maintain large American armies in Europe and keep 
them where they were for a long time, until Russia met our terms 
and eased our anxieties. Churchill’s bold program was judged by 
Truman and his counselors to be inadvisable, ineffective, and inex- 
pedient: inadvisable because it was likely to provoke a harsh dispute 
with Moscow rather than to lead to a settlement; ineffective because 
the Soviet armies could shut us out of Berlin and Vienna and hinder 
the operation of the Control Councils for these two countries, and could 
force Soviet rule on Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia; inexpedi- 
ent because the American people expected a rapid return of veteran 
soldiers from Europe, and American military plans counted on them for 
the pursuit of the war against Japan. 

So on May 14 Truman turned aside Churchill’s appeals with the 
soothing answer that he would like to await events before adopting the 
course the Prime Minister was advocating. Whether the President and 
some of those near him were the more inclined to wait upon events 
because the world, including the Soviet Union, would soon learn that 
wc had a vastly more powerful weapon than any known is still a sub- 
ject that invites, but defies, speculation. 

On May 16, Eisenhower, at this time still Supreme Allied Com- 
mander, met in London with Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff, 
to review the situation. He asked the Prime Minister whether the Con- 
trol Council for Germany might not be set up in the near future. He was 
finding it hard to carry out his duties, he explained, because he had to 
consult the Soviet commanders on many matters, and this meant long 
delay because they had to refer every question to Moscow. Once the 
Control Council was operative, he thought, this consultation could be 
carried on much more quickly and smoothly. His impression was that 
both the American and the British components of SHAEF were ready 
to organize and staff their sections of the Control Council, but that the 
Russians were not. Churchill agreed that the question was urgent. But 
he said he thought that SHAEF should continue for a while longer to 
be responsible for the control of those sections of Germany occupied 
by western troops. lie was on guard against any change in the si'tua- 

[ 76 ] 

tion, that would give the Soviet government a chance to urge immediate 
troop withdrawal out of its rone. 

Eisenhower waited a week. Then he tried again. He informed Wash- 
ington that he could not carry out his mission much longer without 
making known the terms of the surrender imposed on Germany and is- 
suing a Declaration stating that the Allies were assuming supreme au- 
thority over Germany in accordance with these terms. The British 
government acknowledged that necessity. On May 24 it proposed 
that the four Commanders-in-chief meet in Berlin not later than June I, 
to take these measures. What it had in mind was that these military 
officials should act as the Control Council, and should thereafter meet as 
such, proceeding to develop their organization and to deal with ques- 
tions as they arose. But at the same time the British government 
again urged that American and British troops should not be ordered 
back from their lines into the agreed zones of occupation until “out- 
standing questions” were cleared up with the Soviet government. Pos- 
sibly the Foreign Office, if not the Prime Minister, thought that by 
agreeing to rapid constitution of the Control Council it might persuade 
the American government to defer to its inclination in this other matter. 
If so, it was disappointed. 

The Secretaries of State, War, and Navy all favored the early issu- 
ance of the Declaration and prompt activation of the Control Council, 
for they were aware of the difficulties and dangers of coping with the 
situation in Germany without any operative organization that could 
bring all four sharers in the occupation in close contact. They were 
willing to defer briefly the retreat into zones while the effort continued 
to complete accords with the Soviet Union about the treatment of Ger- 
many as an economic unit and about occupation and control of Austria. 
But they thought that if the Soviet government became impatient, its 
wish, not ChurchilL’s counsel, should prevail. So once again the British 
views were impounded. With the approval of the President and the 
Joint Chiefs, the War Department went ahead with plans to dissolve 
the combined American-British military headquarters in the west 

But during all these weeks, while resisting British pleas, the Ameri- 
can officials, civil and military, were wondering whether they ought 
not show a changed mien toward die Soviet government, and per'naps 
seek release from the agreements with it into which they had entered. 
They were verging toward somber second thoughts — called in more 
solemn later days an “agonizing reappraisal.” 

[ 77 ] 

1 2. The Urge to Re-examine the American 
Attitude toward the Soviet Union 

Roosevelt, though troubled over signs of the Soviet will to dominate 
and expand, had clung to the conviction that the American govern- 
ment must continue to act with vigilant calm. He went on nursing the 
hope that Soviet mistrust, fear, and ill will could be tempered. Truman, 
on taking over the unresolved range of troubles with the Soviet Union, 
had adopted the same attitude. He regarded himself as pledged to go 
on with what Roosevelt had been trying to do, and in the same way 
Roosevelt had been trying — as long as there was a chance of success. 
And, as Roosevelt had been, he was fretted by thoughts of what would 
happen if the United States and the Soviet Union became alienated. 

He refused to share Churchill’s mood of grim pessimism regarding 
Soviet intentions. So did some of the advisers who had been closest to 
Roosevelt — Hopkins, Marshall, Stimson, and Byrnes. But others were 
yielding to exasperation over Soviet maneuvers and manners. Among 
them were the members of our diplomatic and military missions in 
Moscow— headed by Harriman and General Deane. They felt that in 
the elation of victory and pride of power the Soviet rulers had ceased 
to care about American friendship; that they were relapsing into scorn 
for our ways and ideals; and that they were bent on attaching western 
Europe and Asia to their cause. These officials, out of their daily 
efforts to win Soviet assent or cooperation, derived an impressive list of 
reasons why they believed it would always be hard to get along with the 
Soviet government. 

In the State Department, judgment on the outlook was flickering 
and divided. The Secretary of State, Stettinius, who was intent above 
all else on bringing an international security organization into existence, 
avoided any conclusion that might severely strain relations with the 
Soviet government. The Under Secretary of State, Grew, was beset 
on one side by those members of his staff who leaned the same way 
as Stettinius, and on the other by those who believed that future war or 
peace would be derided in Moscow and Washington, not at San Fran- 
cisco. Most aggrieved of all were the officials who were concerned with 
Soviet treatment of Poland and the smaller states of Central and South- 
eastern Europe. 

Among the Joint Chiefs of Staff, judgment was still swayed by the 
wish to have Russian participation in the Pacific war early enough and on 



a scale great enough to save American lives. Stimson, as Secretary of 
War, eagerly shared this wish — one of the reasons why he kept under 
rein his dislike of the ways of the Russian Communist system. In con- 
trast, Forrestal, the Secretary of the Navy, by this time was becoming 
set in his belief that the Soviet Union would turn into an enemy; the 
reports sent or brought from Moscow by Harriman, Deane, and others 
found in him vibrant response . 1 

These diverse attitudes coalesced into an impulse to re-examine the 
whole trend of our dealings with the Soviet Union. But this might not 
have led to action until later had not the need arisen to decide whether 
to go through with the secret accord about the Far East conceived at 

T. V. Soong, Prime Minister of China and head of the Chinese dele- 
gation in San Francisco, was seeking a chance to talk with the Secretary 
of State and the President about China’s relations with the Soviet Union. 
Should they tell him of the existence and content of the Yalta accord! 
And if so, should Chiang Kai-shek be asked to concur in it? Or, alterna- 
tively, should Stalin be told that we now thought some of its provisions 
ought to be changed? If not that, should we at least ask additional po- 
litical assurances from Stalin before using our influence to secure Chi- 
nese acceptance? The willful way in which the Soviet government was 
interpreting the agreement about Poland made it seem prudent to do so. 

The State Department on May 12 summarized its ideas in letters to the 
War and Navy Departments. It urged that before taking any measures 
to carry out our part of the Yalta agreement we secure a group of fresh 
and more conclusive promises from the Soviet government. We might 
ask it to use its influence with the Chinese Communists to assist us in our 
effort to unify China under Chiang Kai-shek before we sought his con- 
currence in the Yalta accord. We might also ask it to express unqualified 
acceptance of the Cairo Declaration, promising the return of Manchuria 
to Chinese sovereignty. Similarly we might ask it to confirm the agree- 
ment to join in a four-power trusteeship for Korea — which would select 

l In bis Diaries (page* 47-4!) Forrestal tells of listening on the night of April 19 to 
Harriman’s apprehensions about our relations with Russia unless our attitude was marked 
by much greater firmness. The Ambassador predicted that the Russians, using the need of 
protection against Germany as the reason, would carry out their program of setting up 
all around their borders states that would adopt the Soviet ideology, and that this outward 
thrust of Communism might face us with a state of ideological warfare just as sharp and 
dangerous as that produced by Nazism. Two nights later Forrestal found Harriman’s 
pessimism matched by that of Eden, who thought that the chief element of Russian policy 
was an effort to drive a wedge betn een England and the United States. 

[79 3 


the temporary Korean government. Finally, it was suggested that before 
we gave final approval to Soviet annexation of the Kurile Islands, as 
specified in the Yalta accord, it might be desirable to get the Soviet gov- 
ernment to promise to grant emergency landing rights for commercial 
planes on some of these islands. 

Of all those who frowned over these questions, Stimson was the most 
perplexed. A person of noble conscience, he had a sense of deep respon- 
sibility. As chairman of the Interim Committee concerned with policies 
about the production and use of the atomic bomb, he had recently been 
told by his scientific advisers that the new weapon would almost surely 
be perfected soon. But before this was proved by actual test — which, in 
the phrase he used for his diary, would probably be “before the locking 
of arms came [with Japan] and much bloodshed” — he thought it pre- 
mature to answer Crew’s questions conclusively. If we had this stunning 
new weapon we would be in a much freer and stronger position in the 
event of a clash with Russia over Soviet pretensions in the Far East. We 
would have, again in his phrase, “a master card in our hand.” The trend 
of his thinking is evident from the entry he made in his diary on May 
14. In paraphrase, his thought was that we must regain the lead the 
Russians had taken away from us. S-i was a royal straight flush, and we 
must not play it foolishly. The U.S.S.R. could not get along without 
our help and industry, and we would have a unique weapon. But wc 
ought not get into unnecessary quarrels by talking too much, and not 
indicate weakness by doing so; let our actions speak for themselves. 

So he thought it would be well if Hairiman postponed his return to 
Moscow until the prospect was dearer; and he wanted President Tru- 
man to defer a personal meeting with Stalin and Churchill until then. 
Not that he was bent on having a showdown with the Soviet govern- 
ment. On the contrary, he doubted whether the Soviet Union was going 
to threaten our vital interests, and he was still disposed to continue the 
effort to adjust our relations with it in a friendly fashion, whether or 
not the new weapon became ours. Hence he was loath to consider yet 
any measures that would mean withdrawal from our engagements with 
the Russians, concerning either Germany or the Far East. 

Marshall and McCloy concurred in Stimson’s quest for balance. 2 This 



prevailed over Forrestal’s more pugnacious attitude, and shaped the 
answers th3t Stimson and Forrestal made on May 2 j to Grew’s letters. 
Shorn of verbal fleece, these consisted of three general observations. 
First, with or without our approval, the Soviet Union would have the 
military power to take all that had been promised it at Yalta, except 
perhaps the Kurile Islands, and any attempt by us to take these islands 
would be at the direct expense of other plans and involve an unassessable 
cost in American lives. But second, because of military reasons, there 
was no objection to reviewing this Yalta accord with Stalin, to the end of 
teaching a. clearer arid fuller understanding. And third, it would he 
desirable to obtain the Soviet promises that the State Department wished. 

This bustle of consultation within the American government (going 
on at the same time as the exchange of views with Churchill and the 
British Chiefs of Staff about the maintenance of our advance lines in 
Germany) thus ended in mild conclusions. The American government 
would not proceed to disengage itself from any of the accords with the 
Soviet Union. But before going ahead with their effectuation we would 
make a new direct effort to ascertain the truth about Soviet intentions, 
to see whether Stalin did or did not confirm the principles thought nec- 
essary for sound settlements both in Europe and in the Far East. For 
this main purpose Harry Hopkins was asked by the President to go to 
Moscow on a grave special mission- 

hue had relatively little contact, even during the war, with the Americans and British, 
Jo not understand us, nor do we them. Th* more contact we have with the Russians, the 
more they will understand us and the greater will be the co-oprration. The Russians are 
blunt and forthright in their dealings, and any evasiveness arouses their suspicions. It 
should be possible lo work with Russia if we follow the same pattern of friendly co- 
operation that has resulted in the great record of Allied unity demonstrated first by 
AFHQ and subsequently by SHAEF.” Harry C- Butcher, My Thrtt Vrsn evil A £ir rn-, entry for May 25, page *55. 

[ 8*1 

v 3* Prologue to Hopkins’ Trip to Moscow 

There ■was another reason. Truman, while still learning how and why 
our quarrels with the Soviet Union had come about, and trying to make 
up his own mind about their gravity, was being drawn toward a personal 
meeting with Stalin and Churchill. 

A few hours before the surrender at Rheims, Churchill, with Stalin’s 
latest domineering message about Poland in mind, had radioed, “It seems 
to me th3t matters can hardly be carried further by correspondence, 
and that as soon as possible there should be a meeting of the three Heads 
of Government.” 1 Truman answered on May 9 that while he agreed 
that such a meeting was desirable, he would like to have Stalin ask for 
it j perhaps the Prime Minister had some way of getting him to do so. 
Stalin, he added, could no longer have a valid excuse for refuting to 
come west “toward us.” 

The Prime Minister in several later messages pressed on with his 
project for meeting with Stalin at some “unshattered” town in Germany. 
In one of them he remarked “Time is on his [Stalin’s] side if he digs 
in while we melt away.’ 15 In others he emphasized that if the United 
States and Great Britain, while postponing the conference, continued to 
move their troops out of their advanced lines and out of Europe, cer- 
tainly the chance of persuading Stalin to heed their wishes would be 

But Truman resisted all efforts to hurry him into such a meeting. 
Domestic tasks, such as the presentation of the budget message to Con- 
gress, were on his mind. He felt the need for more time to study and 
make up his mind about the disputed issues. He wanted to wait long 
enough to see how the San Francisco Conference was going. He intended 
to appoint a new Secretary of State, Byrnes, in place of Stettinius, as 
soon after that Conference was over as it could be done fittingly; and he 
wanted the successor to be present while decisions that would fall Upon 
him were being discussed. And, though it is nowhere explicitly on rec- 
ord, it is probable that Truman wanted the meeting deferred because 
he, like Stimson, thought that decisions might be easier after it was 
known whether the United States had the new atomic weapon. 

Betides, the President was being cautioned against Churchill’s haste. 
I le was being told by some about him, among them Leahy, Davies, and 
Marshall, that the great Prime Minister was often more concerned 

with the salvage of British interests than with world harmony. This 
caused him to wonder whether the chance of smoothing out our relations 
with the Soviet rulers might not be better if the Americans first saw and 
talked with them alone. Consonantly he was evading Churchill’s cordial 
invitation to come first to England, an invitation extended with the idea 
that they might then move on to Germany together. In words so similar 
to those used by Roosevelt that they arouse the fancy that they were 
written by the same hand, he answered, ‘'When and if such a meeting 
is arranged, it appears to me that in order to avoid any suspicion of our 
‘ganging up’ it would be advantageous for us to proceed to the meeting 
place separately.” 5 

Such was the complex of factors that caused Truman to want to wait 
a while before meeting with his two top associates — to wait until July, 
and even then, perhaps, to have some talk alone with Stalin before enter- 
ing into the formal three-country conference. 

But the two-month interval could not be a respite from change. Every 
situation with which the American government was faced, political and 
military, could turn quickly for better or for worse. Vital decisions could 
not be deferred. For these, Truman longed for more definite and up-to- 
date knowledge of Soviet intentions j and he thought the chance of con- 
vincing the Soviet government of the reasonableness of our own purposes 
worth the try. 

No American except Roosevelt had done more to aid the Soviet Union 
during the war than Hopkins. Stalin and his colleagues were known to 
be appreciative of his contribution and convinced of his good will toward 
their country. So his selection for this special mission was natural, and he 
accepted, despite his miserably poor health. On May 19, after Harriman 
had returned from San Francisco and the State Department had heard 
from the Secretaries of War and Navy, Stalin was asked whether he 
would make Hopkins welcome. 4 The answer was quick and cordial. 

The State Department, under Grew, was not over-pleased with the 

* Year ef Decision i, page aji. Churchill was hurt and disappointed at the rebuff, see 
Triumfh and Tragedy, page 571. A month later, disturbed by press reports that the 
President intended to see de Gaulle in Paris before going on to Potsdam, he sent 3 message 
to Truman (June 16) saying that Roosevelt had several times promised he would not 
visit Ftauot before he v idled EuglatuL and thatbehnpedTcuroan. would bear this in taiod 
before making any decision. 

* Truman, in Year of Decisions, pages *57-Jp, retraces his idea of asking Hopkins to 
go to Moscow. According to this reminiscent account, it first entered his mind when talk- 
ing with Hopkins about Russia on the journeys to and from Hyde Park for Roosevelt’s 
burial ceremonies, and the plan was confirmed on May 4 or soon thereafter and virtually 
settled before Harriman arrived from San Francisco Presumably Sherwood did not know 

18 3] 

and explain to the Prime Minister the nature of Hopkins’ trip. Harri- 
man got to London on May 22. At dinner that night he did his best to 
persuade the Prime Minister that if Hopkins managed to accomplish 
what he was being sent to do, British wishes would be as well served as 
our own. The Prime Minister did not openly complain about the Amer- 
ican initiative. But, as will be seen presently, he was aggrieved because 
more deference had not been shown to British views and interests, or 
possibly even to his own personal position. To this feeling he gave ex- 
pression, in moderate measure, only after the mission was over. In the 
interval he had the disagreeable experience of being lectured to by 
Joseph E. Davies, a former American Ambassador to Russia, who had 
ever after bathed that country in fulsome praise. The Davies mission to 
London will be discussed later j Truman seems to have regarded it as a 
parallel step in his preparations for the meeting of the three Heads of 

Before following Hopkins to Moscow on his dramatic mission and 
Davies to London on his provocative one, it is imperative to bring into 
this May panorama the event that was in the center of American thought 
at the time: the conference at San Francisco. It had been convened to 
write a charter for a permanent organization to maintain peace by col- 
lective action. Most American officials were at one with the American 
people in believing this more meaningful than the troubles over Euro- 
pean frontiers or the alignment of the smaller European states. History 
would have its willful way with these, as it always did, and its way 
would be war-bringing unless the nations could join in a new form of 
association, in which justice and humaneness would be parents of peace. 

For the vitality of the conceived organization, even if not for its exist- 
ence, Soviet cooperation was deemed essential. Therefore during the 
troubled weeks after the German surrender, the American government, 
as has been noted at several preceding points in this narrative, refrained 
from acts or statements that might lead the Soviet government to ignore 
the conference. With Molotov in charge, an able group of Russians had 
been taking an active part in the discussions and displaying devotion to 
the aim of the conference. But the Russians’ defense of their own views 
and desires had aroused excited and anxious criticism in the American 
delegation. As they saw it.'il the Russians had their way the new political 
prodigy would be deformed at birth. The thought that Hopkins, by 
personal explanation to Stalin, might be able to change the mind of the 
Soviet leader became another reason for sending him to Moscow. 

[ 85 ] 

14- Cooperation and Dissent at the San 
Francisco Conference 

The most absorbing purpose of those who directed American foreign 
policy was the creation of an organization in which the nations of the 
world would come together to maintain peace. We had failed in our 
foresight after the First World War; we had before us now another 
chance, perhaps the last good chance to repair the mistake. If an associa- 
tion of nations were formed, each would regard the mutual pledge of 
protection as the best sort of security, and all — even the tough Soviet 
Union — would be more amiable. Issues of frontiers, alliances, realms of 
control would be more easily settled, would not continue to be a plague 
upon peace. In other words, at least the more enthusiastic Americans 
“tended to think of the establishment of an international organization 
as a sort of talisman which would possess a powerful virtue to heal dis- 
putes among the nations.”' 

Most of the people in the British Isles and Commonwealth and many 
of the officials of the Foreign Office were touched by the same hopeful 
beliefs. Churchill, however, was doubtful whether the new organization 
would prove of much use either in bringing to an end the emergent 
causes of tension with the Soviet Union or in averting future ones. His 
liking for the project seems to have been in inverse proportion to what 
he thought the Soviet attitude toward it to be. In a note that he sent to 
the Dominions Secretary on April 3 he wrote: “If the replies [that is, 
Stalin’s replies to Western proposals for the reorganization of the Polish 
Provisional Government] are wholly hostile, I think it most unlikely 
that Russia will come to San Francisco. She will prefer to fight it out 
on the side of the Lublin Poles. The question will then arise as to 
whether the San Francisco Conference should be held or not. We have 
not yet reached this point. But looking ahead at it, Anthony [Eden] 
and I both consider that it would be a great blow to our cause and pres- 
tige and also to the cause of a free Poland if the sulkiness of Russia 
prevented this World Conference from being held. The Russians would 
feel that their mere abstention paralyzed world action. Although I have 
never been at all keen on this Conference, I should in that event become 
very keen upon it.” 1 

McJCeiB, Ammct, Briui*, *nj J {uiiu, pip: jei. 

* TVn.-1/t anj TrUiij, plj* 74*. 

186 ] 


Actually Stalin and his consultants were not unfriendly to the pro- 
posed creation. They were still resentful of what they regarded as the 
malign failure of the League of Nations to protect Russia from the 
assault of fascism. And Roosevelt’s former idea of a dose continuing 
alliance between the three great members of the coalition, who, acting 
by common accord, were to maintain peace throughout the world, ap- 
pealed to them more than this large and poorly assorted association. Yet 
they were ready to play a part in it, if only to make sure that it did not 
turn into a grouping against the Soviet Union. 

On the other hand, even if the new compact was brought into being, 
they meant to continue to rely primarily on Russian military might, the 
protrusion of Russian frontiers, and the exercise of control over adjacent 
countries. Moreover, the Soviet government was not willing, for the sake 
of bringing the collectivity into being, to take the risk of being compelled 
to accept verdicts it did not like. It was on guard against any and all at- 
tempts to get it to subscribe to a plan under which the Soviet Union 
might be outvoted or overborne. 

At the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in 1944 the main lines of organi- 
zation had been drawn. AH governments, induding the Soviet Union, 
had seemed fairly pleased with the main design. But many changes had 
been proposed. In regard to three vital features in particular, differences 
had still to be reconciled. How great was the basic authority of the or- 
ganization to be? What was to be the balance of the large and small 
nations within it? Most troublesome of all, in what ways were its deri- 
sions to be subject to consent of each and every one of the large powers, 
the permanent members of the Security Council? 

Others have examined more adequately than I can the structure of 
the preliminary proposals submitted to the nations, and their evolution 
after prolonged discussion at the San Francisco Conference into the 
United Nations Charter.® In this narrative I shall tell only of those few 
issues that became part of the pattern of strain within the coalition. 

For a while, as has been mentioned, at was feared that the Soviet 
Union might dissociate itself from the endeavor. At the end of March, 
while quarrels over Poland and the satellites were fraying relations, the 

* Of the many qualified nudies, tome reminiscent reflections of participants in the San 
Francisco Conference, some analytical, some factual, the recent book by Roth B. Russell, 

A History of the United Nations Charter l it the most comprehensive and most thorough 
in its use of the records. I am indebted to its anthor for enabling me to read various chapter* 
in manuscript, and for her critical examination of this chapter. 

1 87 J 


Soviet government had let it be known that its delegation to the San 
Francisco Conference would be headed not by the Foreign Minister, 
Molotov, but by its Ambassador in Washington, Gromyko. Did this 
mean that the Soviet government was going to disregard the results of 
the Conference? That it might do so had seemed the more possible since 
during these same days Stalin was accusing the American and British gov- 
ernments of deceiving him about the nature of secret talks in Switzerland 
having to do with the possible surrender of German forces in Italy. 

It is hard to believe that anyone should wish for Molotov’s rigid 
presence. But Roosevelt, determined not to allow any transient trouble 
with the Soviet Union to come into the way of his great purpose, had 
urged Stalin, on March 24, to let Molotov come to San Francisco if only 
for the vital opening sessions. If he were not there, said the President, 
the Conference would be deprived of a great asset. The whole world 
would construe his absence as protest or dissent. Stalin had answered 
coolly that Molotov was going to be needed in Moscow for a meeting 
of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. He could not let fear of 
inferences determine his decisions. 

The first question that the American press had asked Truman, as 
President, was whether the Conference would meet later in the month as 
scheduled. He at once sent word out to them that it would. He deemed it, 
as he later wrote, “. . . of supreme importance that we build an organiza- 
tion to keep the future peace of the world.” So his intent was not de- 
flected on learning from Stimson, later that same first day of office, 
that the United States would soon have a weapon of “unbelievable 
destructive power.” That night he determined to issue a statement assur- 
ing our allies of his support of the Conference.* 

But on the next day (the 13th), Stalin had agreed to Harriman’s re- 
quest that, as a tribute to Roosevelt, Molotov be sent to San Francisco. 
Truman and the State Department enthusiasts were gladdened by this 
news. Stalm’s gesture was read as a sign of a basic wish to remain in step 
with us. The appeal to have Molotov come to San Francisco was followed 
a that hc St0 P ovcr in Washington for talks about Poland 

and other European issues. Earlier pages have told of the fractious course 
of these talks. The American officials found out that Molotov was the 
same man on this side of the Atlantic as on the other side— possibly 
even a little more resistant and glazed. His sojourn in Washington was 
an uneasy prelude to the sessions in San Francisco. 

* l'/*f a f Dfrilh it, pijti 9.1 ,. 

188 ) 

The first rub had occurred in connection with an offending Soviet pro- 
posal that the Polish Provisional Government, unrecognized by the 
British and American governments, be admitted to the Conference and 
to membership in the prospective organization. This request the Amer- 
ican and British governments bluntly rejected. 

Then, at San Francisco, trouble broke out in the first days over the 
effort of the other American republics to have Argentina brought into 
the Conference. Under General Edelmiro Farrell that government had 
called itself neutral during the war, but in many ways it had been helpful 
to Nazi Germany. Just a few weeks before the end, it had recanted and 
stated that it would declare war on Germany. Thereafter it had been 
allowed to sign the Final Act of the Inter-American Conference on Prob- 
lems of Peace and War, which had met in March at Chapultepec Castle 
(Mexico City). The other American republics were bent on restoring 
unity among all the countries of this hemisphere. They wanted to retain 
the existing security system of the Western Hemisphere and feared it 
might be submerged in the United Nations . 6 Thereupon Roosevelt, on 
April 9, had joined in recognizing this Argentine government and enter- 
ing into diplomatic relations with it. But on doing so he had made it 
clear that the American government was not obligated to support Argen- 
tine admission into the United Nations until and unless that government 
took further action against the Axis and thereby qualified itself in the 
eyes of the other allies. 

In short, there were valid grounds for making both the Provisional 
Polish Government and the Argentine government wait for inclusion 
in the United Nations. The Soviet government set about exacting recog- 
nition of the obedient regime in Warsaw in return for acceding to the 
wish of the American republics. Molotov, in the early committee work, 
angrily protested the admission of Argentina into the new organization, 
expatiating on the “fascist” nature of its government. In contrast he 
could and did stress that the Poles had fought the Germans hard. In 
rejoinder the western advocates could and did answer that they wanted 
Poland in their company; that their opposition was directed solely 
toward what would amount to acceptance of a temporary Polish adminis- 
tration slated for reorganization. 

The American republics were determined to nuke good on the pnjm- 

6 For an analytical account of the discussions at the Chapultepec Conference on the 
question whether the American republics should retain authority to enforce peace and 
security in this hemisphere on their own initiative, see Russell, pages 554-75. 

[ 89 ) 


ise they had given the Argentine government at the Chapultepec Con- 
ference, that if their conditions were met it would be invited to San 
Frandsco. They were the more set on doing so because they were being 
asked — not only by the Soviet government but also by that of the United 
States — to assent to an act that seemed to them unjust and contrary to 
the spirit of equality of members: they were being urged to agree^ to 
the admission of two of the constituent republics within the Soviet Union 
(Ukraine and Byelorussia, referred to usually as White Russia), even 
though these were not in any sense independent. The acknowledged 
reason was that the Soviet government thought itself entitled to at least 
three places and votes in the Assembly (having reduced its original 
request, made by Stalin to Roosevelt at Yalta, that all sixteen of the 
Soviet republics be accorded separate representation). In its view this 
demand was modest and fair, since it believed that all six members of the 
British Commonwealth that would be in the organization would follow 
British lead, and that most or all of the other American republics would 
follow that of the United States. 

The United States delegation at San Frandsco concluded that the other 
American members would assent to this assignment of two extra places 
to the Soviet Union if, and only if, their wish to have Argentina in was 
granted. It began to fear that in this case the Soviet government— ag- 
grieved as it was at the refusal to invite the Provisional Government of 
Poland— might call its delegation back home and disrupt the Conference. 

To avert that, the United States delegation joined in the derision to 
invite Argentina to San Francisco despite Soviet protests. But Molotov’s 
criticisms put Stettinius enough on the defensive to lead him, when re- 
porting to the nation over the radio on the progress of the Conference, 
to make it dear that “the vote of the United States in favor of seating 
Argentina did not constitute a blanket endorsement of the policies of the 
Argentine Government. On the contrary, with many of these policies 
both the Government and the people of the United States have no 

Hopkins was to find when he got to Moscow that Stalin was still 
smarting over this defiance of his objections. 

The fuss over the admission of Argentina had wider connotations. As 
suggested above, the other republics in this hemisphere wanted to be 
sure the)' would remain able to take any measures deemed necessary to 
protect their peace and security without having to reckon with the oppo- 

* Radio broadcait, May j|, 194 j. Start Drparuntnt BalUtin, June j, 1945. 


sition or veto of the Soviet Union within the Security Council. Inside 
the United States government there were two opinions as to whether an 
explicit sanction in the Charter for such regional enforcement action might 
be regretted. Some officials feared that if it were allowed, a variety of 
Other regional arrangements would come into existence, and the world 
would presently be divided into competitive groups, each under the lead 
of some large power. Others were willing tD take the risk in order to 
be sure that the American system would not be hindered in its operation; 
they argued also that whether or not this latitude was allowed, the 
Soviet Union would act on its own in any crisis in its relations with the 
smaller neighboring countries. 

The President was asked to deride. As a result, the two groups within 
the American government were brought to accept a verbal formula that 
developed into Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations: “Noth- 
ing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual 
or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of 
the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures 
necessary to maintain international peace and security.” 

The United States delegation, especially its Republican members, 
Senator Vandenberg and senior Adviser Dulles, were under the impres- 
sion that the Soviet government was seriously opposed to the adoption of 
any such provision . 7 But this may not have been so. The article is pliable. 
It is easy to believe that the authorities in Moscow foresaw that in the 
future it might be as useful to them as to the United States. If it provided 
a route along which the American republics could proceed without Soviet 
assent, it could also smooth the way for Soviet measures that others might 
not approve. The Soviet government was already forming its own sys- 
tem of regional accords with its weak neighbors. 

The rambling discussion of the way in which regional accords and the 
new world arrangement should be geared into each other was connected 
with the issue that most incisively divided the main members of the 
coalition. This concerned voting procedure in the Security Council. It has 
become known as the veto question. 

The three Heads of Government had left Yalta in February with the 
wktakfia idea, that the. suhiect had been, probed and settled. They had 
been in quick and firm accord that the unanimous approval of all its 

1 See, for example, the account given by John Fo*ter Du tin in his book War or Ptact, 
pa£e 9> v of the tactic* by which in hi* judgment the Soeict government »ai brought to 
■ctept ihi* text agxinat it* inclination. 

t 9 l ] 


permanent members (save any that chose to abstain) should be needed 
for any and all verdicts of the Security Council holding that a threat to 
the peace existed or that a breach of the peace had occurred, and that 
such unanimous approval should be needed before the Council could 
take any measures to enforce a decision. 8 But they had been puzzled as 
to whether it would be wise to have the Council similarly bound before 
engaging in preliminary activities; that is, before it could even take heed 
of a dispute, look into it, and try to settle it by peaceful means. 

Roosevelt had proposed three rules to Churchill and Stalin: first, that 
decisions on “procedural matters” should be made by any seven of the 
eleven members of the Council; second, that the concurrence of all 
permanent members should be required on all other matters; but third, 
that while the Council was trying to bring about a voluntary peaceful 
settlement by advice, conciliation, or adjudication, any member of the 
Council, including the permanent members, who was a party to the dis- 
pute should abstain from voting. 

In the correspondence before Yalta the Soviet government had at 
first shown dislike for the last segment of this proposal, whereby even 
the great powers would lose their chance to object to Council initiative 
in disputes in which they were themselves involved. The Soviet leaders 
had wished to maintain the rule that the dissent of any permanent mem- 
ber should debar the Council from taking any and all acts of a substantive 
sort. As expounded by Molotov, the Soviet position had been that the 
“principle of unity of action must be preserved from the inception of any 
dispute, it must never be diminished and there must be no exceptions to 
it; otherwise, the entire organization would be emasculated.” 1 ’ 

And at Yalta, Stalin had tried hard to convince Roosevelt that this 
was the soundest provision, since the main task before them as Heads of 
Government, and before the organization, would be to avert or prevent 
future quarrels between the great powers. Roosevelt had once thought 
the same way, but he had been converted by Hull and others to another 
conception — that peace could best be assured by enabling all countries 
to act as guardians of it. 

Abruptly, perhaps because of Churchill’s persuasive explanations, the 
Soviet rulers had come about at Yalta. Both Stalin and Molotov had 
agreed that the American proposal would sufficiently safeguard the unity 
of the great powers. Their statements had bred the cheerful conclusion 
that the question was settled. 

* IVrhjpt tb* American rxperu did rot »t tbit time conceive that the votin' formula 
*oBtJ allow alwtertion, at later interpreted in actual Security Council practice, 

* Memo of IIirriman-Molotov talk, December ay, 

I 9- ] 


In the interval before the convening of the San Francisco Conference 
both Secretary of State Stettinius and Under Secretary of State Grew 
had construed the formulas conceived at Dumbarton Oaks and completed 
at Yalta. The Secretary of State had done so on March 5, at one of 
the sessions of the Chapultepec Conference. Grew’s attempt, made on 
March 24 in an effort to clear away puzzled inquiries, was the same in 

The purpose of the Secretary of State had been to enlist the trust and 
support of the other American republics in the task of forming the world 
security organization by indicating that the few great powers did not 
intend to exercise undue restraint upon the judgment of the Security 
Council. After telling of the proposed provisions about the work of that 
body he had continued: 

“This procedure means that whenever any member of the Council — 
including any permanent member— is a party to a dispute, that member 
can not vote in any decision of the Council involving peaceful settlement 
of that dispute. Consequently, the Council can examine the dispute thor- 
oughly and the remaining members can make recommendations to all 
the parties to the dispute as to the methods and procedures for settling 
it. . . . 

“This means that all members of the Security Council, when they are 
parties to a dispute will be on the same footing before this Council. It 
means that no nation in the world will be denied the right to have a fair 
hearing of its case in the Security Council, and that the equal, democratic 
rights of all nations will be respected. 

“If a dispute is not settled by such means, the major question before 
the Council is whether force needs to be employed. In that event, it is 
necessary that the vote of the permanent members of the Council be 
unanimous. They are the nations which possess in sufficient degree the 
industrial and military strength to prevent aggression.” 10 

This avowal was at the time misleading in its scope, though not inten- 
tionally so. In dispensing with the veto right of a permanent member 
engaged in a dispute, the formula of Dumbarton Oaks and Yalta in- 
tended this only as regards “recommendations ... as to methods and 
■procedures for settling a dispute, but not as regards the terms of settle- 
ment This was a point that was before long to mix up everybody. 

10 State Department Bulletin, Match 1 1, 19*5, page 195. The Secretary of State made 
this statement on the rame day that the State Department publicly announced the invita- 
tion* to the Conference at San Franci*eo. latter trouble might have been avoided if the 
American government had *ecoted British and Soviet agreement on the text before issuing 
it. For Grew 1 * statement see State Department Bulletin, March sj, 1945, page 479. 



Even before the Conference met at San Francisco, comments had indi- 
cated that the governments of several smaller countries (Australia, New 
Zealand, and various American republics) thought the three proposed 
rules gave the great powers too preponderant a control over the actions 
of the Security Council. Thus in the early sessions the smaller nations 
presented a variety of amendments. These differed in range, but all 
were aimed at enabling the Security Council to make decisions (some or 
all) in regard to the pacific settlement of any dispute by a simple majority 
of seven. 11 

The involved and fluctuating discussion of this question brought out 
the fact that there was an important area of ambiguity in the formula 
on the table, or at least an area in which the four sponsoring powers (the 
United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China) were not 
clearly on record as being of one mind. Was the admitted necessity for 
concurrence of all permanent members (when not parties to the dispute) 
to be applicable to any and all stages of an attempt to deal with a dispute 
or situation by peaceful means? Even to the early stages, which would 
ordinarily involve only a decision to take cognizance of the trouble? If 
not, at what point in the sequence of possible action was it to become 
effective? A Subcommittee was appointed to study this question “in order 
to clarify the doubts that have arisen.” 

The Subcommittee decided that the practical way to make progress on 
the subject was to submit a comprehensive questionnaire to the four 
sponsoring powers and France j and to seek to have them agree on a 
joint statement that the Subcommittee could use in composing a report 
to the full Conference. This was done. But as soon as the specialists began 
to consider the answers to the questions that had been posed, differences 
appeared. All five powers were in accord that a mere decision to place 
an item on the agenda of the Coundl for discussion should be regarded 
as a procedural matter and therefore be determined by simple majority 
vote. They also agreed that, at the other end of the range, unanimous 
assent of the permanent members (except any that was a party to the 
dispute) should be required for a decision of the Council to investigate 

Tb* comment on thia point that Senator Vandenberg entered in hit diarr for May ao, 
iVIl'./' ; "" n ’ c Vatu *vr? o’ xa note interpreted irclodei a Srto’ for 

Connrfl and inveatigation of ditputei by the Secority 

,”S? " “ d ■PT'r th. dilute, of .It-.- 

t» holw D( d* r°-" id th 5 Security Council it in import, however, entire contrary 
to bu Rand on quntiont of domett* jorudittion and eompulaory luriidirtion of the Inter- 
.■■..n.l Co .rt .ll uni^-i. both .l,eh mane,, ho’.,, ZSfSZ L, 
tor Lotted Barton, rntphr eont.drr a raw depot United State, proteit. 

t 94] 

and make recommendations on the pacific means of settlement. But what 
of the many possible intermediate actions? What, in particular, of the 
right to consider and discuss? 

The British and United States representatives were of the opinion 
that the Council, in accord with other provisions of the Charter, would 
be under an unqualified obligation to go at least this far in carrying out 
its primary duty. Hence they were convinced that the decision whether 
to do so ought to be regarded as one of procedure, and as such decided 
by ordinary majority vote. But Gromyko— for by this time Molotov had 
returned home — said that before approving this statement he would have 
to consult Moscow. This came as a dismaying shock to the American 
government, for it had been taken for granted that the Soviet govern- 
ment had long since acceded to this judgment. Both Stettinius and Grew 
had so affirmed in the public statements to which reference has been 
made, and to which the Russians had not objected. 

The Conference waited intently. 11 After hearing from Moscow, 
Gromyko said, on June i, that the Soviet government believed the only 
correct answer was to require a ‘'qualified” vote (that is, one in which 
all permanent members concurred) on this important question of 
whether the Council was to consider and discuss a dispute. The Soviet 
reasoning was fundamental and familiar. There was a vital need to 
assure the unity and unanimity of the great powers. But that might be 
impaired in any one of several ways if the Council were permitted to 
decide to consider a dispute despite the opposition of any one of them. 
If the discussion did not lead to any action the relations between the great 
powers might be strained. Or a discussion begun despite objection might 
launch a chain of events that would cause or require the Council to take 
action} and this might lead to dangerous dissension. Why the Soviet 
government retreated at this time from its earlier disposition to allow 
the Security Council to take heed of a dispute was then, and remains, a 

12 The anxiety of the American delegation it reflected in an entry that Senator Vanden- 
berg made in hit diary for May 16. An extract read,: “Thi, time the problem [of the 
range of the veto power] it more perplexing than otual because the Big j is in disagree- 
ment itself over thi, particular interpretation. Speaking for Britain, Sir Alexander Cadogan 
say, the Yalta 'veto’ doe, not permit one of the Big j to •veto* a discussion of any (that u, 
every) question brought to the Council. That, too, i, our American position. China would 
accept thi, version. Once more the whole thing hang, on Gromyko who is ‘awaiting in- 
Mfuctiou.’ from Moscow. He say, he is ‘inclined to go along’ — but ha, to hear from home. 

It might be argued that when all the reit of os agree on an interpretation of Yalta, our 
view ought to govern rather than Russia’,. That is my position. On the other hand, there 
11 much to be vud for siot giving the Russian, any excuse for running out on Yalta itself. 
(Of course [Riftsia] hat run out, but the rest of o, arc demanding that it make good— and 
so we go to painful extreme, to ‘make good’ ourselves.) At any rate, the answer i, tip to 
Moscow- — and we are supposed to get the answer in the Peat-House tomorrow night.” 



matter for surmise. It may be that the stubborn resistance to the Soviet 
program for dominating Poland and nearby smaller states was regarded 
as a forecast that the Western powers, in combination in the Council, 
would be unfriendly to Soviet interests. 

Not only the American but the British and Chinese delegations were 
unpersuaded by the Soviet argument. Stettinius let it be known on June 2 
that the American government would never consent to such a curb on 
the right of the Council. Nor would the Conference itself, he predicted. 

The Conference at San Francisco was at its most upsetting crisis. Un- 
less the Soviet government could be brought to change its stand there 
would be no Charter, no world organization. Furthermore, failure at 
San Francisco would excite every other current cause of trouble with the 
Soviet Union. A sense of emergency ran through the corridors of gov- 
ernment. Hence an urgent request was sent to Hopkins at Moscow, to 
do his utmost to make Stalin understand what was at issue and persuade 
him to go along with the American government in this matter. 

15* Hopkins-Stalin Talks: The First Avowals 

On the evening of the 25th of May, Hopkins, having stopped off to 
see Eisenhower, arrived in Moscow. The first talk with Stalin was set 
for the following night. In this and all that followed, Harriman and 
Molotov also took part. 

Hopkins had been briefed by the State and War Departments on the 
main troubles they were having with the Soviet government. Whether 
or not he knew of the new impressive weapon we were soon to have is 
not of record. 1 

The first and second talks were given over to roving comment about 
the regrettable turn taken by American-Soviet relations, and the griev- 
ances that were leading from friendship toward separation. 

Before starting on his statement of the purposes of his visit to Moscow, 
Hopkins tried the jocular tone he so often used in an effort to put 
either himself or the other fellow at ease before tackling a difficulty. 
He asked Molotov whether he had recovered from the battle of San 
Frandsco. Molotov did not enter into the jest. He replied that he did 
not recall any battles, only arguments, at San Francisco. Then, turning 
to Stalin, Hopkins began to tell of Roosevelt’s last moods and thoughts, 
and of his death j of how Roosevelt had often reviewed with him the 
results of the Yalta conference, and had come away from it with en- 
livened faith that the United States and the Soviet Union could work 
together in peace as they had in war. But recently that assurance had 
been ebbing. That was the real reason why President Truman had asked 
him to fly to Moscow: to talk over with Stalin the swiveling relationship 
between the United States and the Soviet Union. As later reported, he 
told Stalin: 

“Two months ago there had been overwhelming sympathy among the 
American people for the Soviet Union and complete support for Presi- 
dent Roosevelt’s policies which the Marshal knew so well. This sympathy 
and support came primarily because of the brilliant achievements of the 
Soviet Union in the war and partly from President Roosevelt’s leader- 
ship and the magnificent way in which our two countries had worked 
together to bring about the defeat of Germany. The American people 
at that time hoped and confidently believed that the two countries could 
work together in peace as well as they had in war. . . . He said he 

1 Harriman knew about It but thought of it only as a possibility, pending actual test. 

It is likely that Hopkins bad learned of it from him or someone else. 



wished to assure the Marshal with all the earnestness at his command 
that this body of American public opinion who had been the constant 
support of the Roosevelt policies were seriously disturbed about their 
relations with Russia. In fact, in the last six weeks deterioration of public 
opinion had been so serious as to affect adversely the relations between 
our two countries. . . . The friends of Roosevelt’s policy and of the 
Soviet Union were alarmed and worried at the present trend of events 
and did not quite understand why, but it was obvious to them that if 
present trends continued unchecked the entire structure of world co- 
operation and relations with the Soviet Union which President Roosevelt 
and the Marshal had labored so hard to build would be destroyed. Prior 
to his departure President Truman had expressed to him his great anxiety 
at the present situation and also his desire to continue President Roose- 
velt’s policy of working with the Soviet Union and his intention to carry 
out in fact as well as in spirit all the arrangements, both formal and 
informal, which President Roosevelt and Marshal Stalin had worked 
out together. ... He also said he would not have come had he not 
believed that the present trend could be halted and a common basis 
found to go forward in the future.” 8 

Stalin did not interrupt him, so Hopkins talked on. It was not easy, 
he said, to identify the precise reasons for the current alienation of 
American opinion. But among the various incidents, the most troubling 
one seemed to be “our inability to carry into effect the Yalta Agreement 
on Poland.” About the causes of this, he said, President Truman, as well 
as the American public, was bewildered. 

At the mention of Poland — which was to engage more of their talk 
than any other issue — Stalin made his first pointed reply. The reason 
was clear: the Soviet Union wanted to have a free Poland but the 
British Conservatives were trying to prevent that, since they wished to 
revive the restraining alliance (“cordon sanitaire”) around the borders 
of the Soviet Union. It may be surmised that Stalin, who never said 
anything aimlessly, thought that this version of the cause of the trouble 
would appeal to his American auditor. Hopkins said merely, and said it 
twice, that both the people and the government of the United States 
had no such intention as Stalin attributed to the British, and wished to 
sec friendly countries all along the Soviet borders. If that were so, Stalin 
said, they could easily come to terms in regard to Poland. Hopkins 
remarked that he was glad to hear the Marshal say so. 

Then, leaving that topic after a repetition of his belief that It was the 

* SVrwood, til-1,. 



greatest cause of disturbance in Soviet-American relations, Hopkins went 
on to inform Stalin of the other questions he would like to talk about. 
They were, first, Truman’s wish to meet Stalin to discuss the problems 
arising out of the end of war in Europe, and the time and place of such 
a meeting; second, the setting up of the Control Council for Germany; 
third, the Pacific war and the future relations of the United States and 
the Soviet Union to China. 

Having concluded his review of the matters he wanted to talk over, 
Hopkins said he would be glad to discuss any other issues the Marshal 
might have in mind. Stalin answered that, in fact, he had several. All 
but one, however, he left over until the next talk. That was whether there 
ought to be a peace conference to settle the European war. He said he 
thought that matter was, so to speak, knocking at the door. He felt the 
uncertainty was having a bad effect, and it would be wise to select a 
time and place well in advance. The Versailles Conference had been 
poorly prepared and as a result many mistakes had been made. It is to 
be wondered what mistakes Stalin had in mind. But Hopkins did not 
turn historian and ask him to explain that remark. He said that he 
thought the prospective meeting between the three Heads of Govern- 
ment would be a first step toward that peace conference, and that he had 
a general knowledge of Truman’s views on the subject and would be glad 
to tell them to Stalin. 

In their talk on the next night Stalin responded to Hopkins’ invita- 
tion to tell him what matters concerning the United States were bother- 
ing him. Stalin's first remark had an edge to it. He would not try to use 
Soviet public opinion as a screen. He would talk of the feeling created 
in Soviet official circles by some recent actions of the American govern- 
ment* They felt that these indicated a lessening of American regard 
for the Soviet Union, as though the Americans were saying that the Rus- 
sians were no longer needed now that Germany was defeated. The bill 
of complaints that he went on to tote was long. I shall tell here only of 
the three that topped it. 

One was the admission of Argentina to the San Francisco Conference. 
Stalin said he could not understand why this had been allowed, since 
it had been settled that only those states that had declared war on Ger- 
many before the first of March would be asked there. By this action the 

•Stalin did not explain »lut “offeial circlet"" be bad in mind. Darinj all tb« peart of 
the war he had not tammoned one meeting of the whole Central Committee of the Com. 
rnamit Party or one party Congren. 

f 99 ] 


value of agreements among the three major powers had been brought 
into question. What were they worth if they could be overturned by the 
votes of such countries as Honduras and Puerto Rico? 

Another was the attitude of the United States toward Polish questions. 
He said it had been agreed at Yalta that the existing government was to 
be reconstructed. Anyone with common sense could see this meant that 
the existing government was to form the basis of the new. No other 
understanding of the Yalta accord was possible. Despite the fact that 
they were simple people, the Russians should not be regarded as fools 
— a mistake frequently made. Nor were they blind; they could see quite 
well what was going on before their eyes. 

Then there was the manner in which Lend-Lease aid had been cur- 
tailed. This had been regrettable and even brutal ; for example certain 
ships on their way to the Soviet Union had been turned about and un- 
loaded. While that order had been cancelled, it had left offense. If, he 
continued, the refusal to continue Lend-Lease was meant as a form of 
pressure on the Russians "in order to soften them up,” it was a great 
mistake; reprisals in any form would bring about exactly the opposite 

Hopkins, having listened patiently, tried to convince Stalin that there 
were no unfriendly or unfair intentions behind these and other American 
actions that Stalin deplored. 

Since he had not been at San Francisco, Hopkins turned to Harri- 
man to explain the reasons for the Argentine affair. In brief, Ham- 
man said the United States representatives had found it necessary to 
go along with the other American republics in order to secure their 
assent to the extension of an invitation to the Ukrainian and White Rus- 
sian governments to participate in the Conference. When Harriman then 
went on to suggest in his further remarks that perhaps Molotov had 
been in part responsible for the turn of events, he was answered with a 
grumbled denial. Stalin cut short the talk about this affair by saying that 
in any event what had been done could not be undone and that the 
question belonged to the past. 

In regard to the slash in Lend-Lease aid, Hopkins exerted himself to 
counter Stalin’s reproaches. He said he thought it had been made clear 
that the American government had to reshape its Lend-Lease program 
at the end of the war with Germany. The sudden turn-around and un- 
loading of ships that were to have gone to the Soviet Union he attrib- 
uted to a mistaken interpretation of the order by one government agency, 
and recalled that this had been corrected at once. He repudiated the 
t ICO} 


notion that future Lend-Lease aid for the Soviet Union might be admin- 
istered either arbitrarily or as a means of bringing pressure. He empha- 
sized that promises to deliver military supplies that would be of use 
to the Soviet Union when it was in the war against Japan were being 
carried out. 

Stalin struck a lofty note. He said he recognized the right of the 
United States to curtail Lend-Lease shipments. The Soviet govern- 
ment would not have complained if this had been done with suitable 
notice and gradually} but it certainly did not like the way in which 
it had been handled. After all, he said, an agreement between the two 
governments had been ended in a scornful and abrupt manner, and the 
absence of warning had upset Soviet plans. But he dropped this sub- 
ject too, with the remark that he believed Hopkins and was satisfied 
with his explanations. 

Thus neither Stalin nor Hopkins spoke all that was in their minds 
about this occurrence. In curtailing its aid the American government 
had wished to register its view that the Soviet authorities, by their ac- 
tions, were losing their right to special treatment; but through mistaken 
zeal its intention had been exceeded. Stalin and his associates were dis- 
pleased by our action not only because of the way that it was taken but 
because it reduced the generous, the carelessly generous, flow of sup- 
plies that would have been useful to them after the war . 4 

Lastly, Hopkins spoke at length about the Polish question, and 
Stalin answered him at length. But separate consideration is needed for 
this first outspoken exchange of views about that searing subject. 

Since the mutual candor of these talks was accepted by each as a 
service to the search for friendship, it did not lead to rancor. Just before 
the visitors took their leave, Stalin said he was ready to meet the Presi- 
dent at any time, and promised to announce Marshal Zhukov’s appoint- 
ment as Soviet representative on the Control Council for Germany at 
once, so that body might be able to start its work as soon as possible. The 
next talk was set for the following day. 

4 On May a* (two days after this talk) Molotov and Mikoyan submitted to llarriman 
a large Soviet program for Lend-Lease material to be delivered in the period of July t 
through December 1915. See Supplementary Note t. 

E 101] 

1 6. Hopkins-Stalin Talks on Poland and the 

Having said that of all the irritants between the two countries their 
quarrel over Poland was the worst, Hopkins, in his second talk with 
Stalin, stated the American view. With various turns of language he 
averred that the American government and people recognized the rea- 
sons why the Soviet Union wanted a friendly government in Poland. 
They were not seeking to prevent the realization of that wish. They 
deeply desired, however, that the Poles be allowed to choose their own 
government and their own social system, and that their country be 
genuinely independent. In American eyes the Soviet government, tn 
concert with the Warsaw group, seemed to be bent on denying them 
these rights. Would not the Marshal help to find a solution for the 
Polish problem which would dissipate such suspicions? 

Stalin began his justification of Soviet policy by a historical review. 
Needless to say, this did not contain any reference to the Molotov- 
Ribbentrop Pact, which in 1939 had cleared the way for the division of 
Poland between the Soviet Union and Germany. Twice in twenty-five 
years, he said, the Russians had had to endure horrible invasions through 
Poland, like the incursions of the Huns. The Germans had been able 
to use that country as a pathway because it had been “previous European 
policy” that “Polish governments must be hostile to Russia”; and be- 
cause Poland cither had been too weak to oppose the Germans or had 
let them come through. This experience, he concluded, had made it 
plain that Poland should be made both strong and friendly to the Soviet 
Union. He went on to say, however, “that there was no intention on 
the part of the Soviet Union to interfere in Poland’s internal affairs, 
that Poland would live under the parliamentary system which is like 
Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Holland and that any talk of an inten- 
tion to Sovietize Poland was stupid. He said even the Polish leaders, 
some of whom were communists, were against the Soviet system since 
the Polish people did not desire collective farms or other aspects of 
the Soviet system. In this the Polish leaders were right since the Soviet 
system was not exportable— it must develop from within on the basis of 
a set of conditions which were not present in Poland.”* 

He admitted the right of the United States and England to concern 

[ 102 ] 


themselves with what was done about Poland. But the Soviet govern- 
ment had been forced to act without their assent since they had re- 
fused to recognize the Warsaw government, and the Red Army had 
needed its aid. Had the Soviet government set up its own administra- 
tion in these Polish territories, it would have looked like occupation 
and been resented by the local inhabitants, A further corner of his 
thought was revealed by one of his pendent remarks, that after all, the 
Soviet government had never been compelled to resort to the kind of 
repressive measures in Poland that the British government had taken 
in Greece. 

These explanations appealed to Hopkins, They suited his devoted 
faith in popular democracy, his will to believe that the Soviet Union 
meant well, and his inclination to interpret British foreign policy as 
self-seeking. But the proposal which Stalin then made with an air of 
novelty let down his hopes, for it was the very one that he had been 
offering during all the previous weary weeks of argument. Why not, he 
asked, adopt the same type of arrangement that had been made for 
Yugoslavia? If that were done, out of the eighteen or twenty ministerial 
posts in the Polish government, four or five would be assigned to mem- 
bers of democratic groups not represented in the existing administration. 
If this was acceptable they could then go on to settle what persons 
should be selected for these positions. Perhaps it might be wise to ask 
some of the Warsaw leaders to come to Moscow while Hopkins was 
there, so that both of them might hear what they had to say. Again, as at 
Yalta, he bid for assent by implying that the arrangement in mind was 
only transitional. On this point too quotation is needed, as a reminder: 
“He [Stalin] added that if we are able to settle the composition of the 
new government he felt that no differences remained since we were all 
agreed on the free and unfettered elections and that no one intended to 
interfere with the Polish people.’” Hopkins merely said that he would 
like to have time to think over Stalin’s ideas. 

That time was used in reporting to the President. The terse responses 
he got from Washington encouraged him to go forward along his open- 
ing line. This he did at the fourth meeting, on May 30. In that talk 
Hopkins started on an essay in persuasion. If a mutually acceptable ac- 
cord on Poland were reached, it would serve Russia well. But if, on 
the contrary, Russia imposed a solution, it would remain a troubling or 
even threatening problem. Stalin did not dissent from the forecast, for 
he recognized, he said, that a settlement in which all three joined would 

* pagtf 901. 



carry more weight.* Then, detouring around Stalin’s proposal, Hopkins 
pointed to the cardinal elements that must be present (a combination of 
the principles of the American Constitution and Bill of Rights) if a 
real parliamentary system was to be established and maintained. He 
concluded that if both countries adopted these principles, which would 
be the basis for future free elections, ‘‘then he was sure we could find 
ways and means to agree on procedures to carry them into effect.” 1 

Stalin’s answer was substantiating enough to allow Hopkins to think 
— as he wished to think — that Stalin was in accord with his general 
view. Yet it was cleverly enough qualified to leave leeway for any devia- 
tions the Soviet supporters might make. To quote the record: “Marshal 
Stalin replied that these principles of democracy . . . would find no 
objection on the part of the Soviet Government. He was sure that the 
Polish Government, which in its declaration had outlined just such 
principles, would not only not oppose them but would welcome them. 
He said, however, that in regard to the specific freedoms mentioned 
by Mr. Hopkins, they could only be applied in full in peacetime, and 
even then with certain limitations.”* Certainly, fascist parties, for ex- 
ample, whose aim it was to destroy democratic governments, could not 
be permitted full freedom. For further illustration of the possible need 
of restrictions, he recalled that during the revolution the Russian 
Patriarch and the entire then-existing church had declared the Soviet 
government an anathema, and had called on all church members to re- 
sist it in every way, thus leaving the Soviet government no choice but 
to declare war on the church. 

At this juncture the long and earnest talk between the two left the 
upper regions of avowals and descended to details of what in another 
sphere is called “business.” Stalin put Hopkins on the defensive by 
repeating his view that the British government secretly did not wish to 
see the Polish question settled. Why else should it and the American 
government suggest, as they had, that one of the leading agents of the 
reactionary Polish group in London (Jankowski), who directed the il- 
legal internal work in Poland, be included in the new government? 
Hopkins denied any wish of the American government to have any 
present agents of the London Government in Exile, whether iaside or 
outside of Poland, involved in the new Provisional Government. That, 
Stalin said, was “very good news.” Hopkins pursued the point with 
vigor. He assured Stalin that Truman did not intend to name anyone, 

* memo of S«! o-Hoplim ulk, Mij jo, 1945. 

* £in>oo<l, pi[t 906. 

1 pje 906. 

[ i at! 


even for consultation, who was against the Yalta decision. Moreover, 
“he knew that President Roosevelt and now President Truman had al- 
ways anticipated that the members of the present "Warsaw regime 
would constitute a majority of the new Polish Provisional Govern- 
ment.”® This was correct. But in admitting it so explicitly Hopkins must 
have hoped to induce Stalin to be yielding in return. 

He followed up his remark by asking whether they might not agree 
on eight or ten men, outside of those connected with the Warsaw gov- 
ernment, to be summoned to work with the Commission (Molotov, 
Harriman, and Clark Kerr) to form a new Provisional Government. 
Let the two of them — Stalin and himself — not try then and there to fix 
upon how many ministries might be assigned to Poles outside of the 
Warsaw government. Let this emerge from the consultations. This was 
Hopkins’ way of refusing to accept the Yugoslav precedent, and of 
rescuing the Commission of Three from disuse. If it worked, the prac- 
tice of coalition cooperation would be saved. Stalin seemed to fall in 
with the thought— saying that in their next talk they should try to agree 
on the persons to be invited. 

Hopkins, pleased that Stalin was no longer insisting that the Warsaw 
government would have to approve all nominations for consultations, 
hurried to inform the President that “It looks as though Stalin is 
prepared to return to and implement the Crimea derision and permit a 
representative group of Poles to come to Moscow to consult with the 
Commission.” 7 

Relying on Stalin’s assurances that Poland, if friendly, could be free 
and independent, and leaving open the questions of distribution of offices 
and authority in the reorganized government, Hopkins pursued his 
suggestion in his next talks with Stalin and Molotov. They haggled 
about the number of independent Polish leaders — some in London and 
some still in Poland — to be invited to Moscow to talk with the Com- 
mission. They went over the roll of qualified individuals. For guidance 
in the effort to assure that the consultants could speak for all demo- 
cratic elements in Poland, Hopkins turned to the American and British 
ambassadors and the State Department. The twists and thrusts in the 
bazaar-like barter for possible advantage in the consultations are no 
longer of interest. When the fifth talk ended, on May 3 r, agreement had 
been reached on the entries. 

Hopkins at once cabled to the President: “This I believe is a satisfac- 

* Bohlea memo of Sulin-Hopkinj talk, Miy jo, 194 j. 

1 Sherwood, pages 907-0?. In the ume message he reported that Stalin agreed to meet 
with Truman and Churchill in the Berlin aeea about July ,5, ait momfntoua weeks away. 

[ 'os ] 


tory Ust and I wish you will approve it. If you do, then I think it ex- 
tremely important that you press Churchill immediately for his ap- 
proval and have Schoenfeld [our diplomatic representative vis-a-vis the 
Governments-in-Exile in London] see Mikolajczyk at once in order to 
get his agreement.” On the advice of the State Department, the Presi- 
dent told Hopkins he endorsed the names. And he at once besought 
Churchill’s concurrence. The arrangement Hopkins had made seemed 
to him an encouraging step forward, he told the Prime Minister, and 
thus he hoped for quick assent, that the next measures might be taken 
as soon as possible. And would Churchill also do his best to get 
Mikolajczyk, to whom the list was being submitted, to help carry 
Hopkins’ program into effect? 

Churchill has recalled his impression: “We of course concurred in 
these proposals for what they were worth .” 8 His answer to Truman 
said he agreed that “Hopkins’ devoted efforts have produced a break- 
ing of the deadlock”; since this was the best deal Hopkins could get, he 
would join Truman in a message to Stalin telling him of their acceptance. 
Waiving any thought he may have had that Hopkins ought to have con- 
sulted him first, Churchill sent him too an agreeable personal message. 

Mikolajczyk’s response was compliant but admonitory. He said he 
would accept an invitation to take part in the Moscow talks, provided it 
was issued by the Commission of Three. Among his various comments 
on the list of individuals, the most important was his notation that it 
did not give any place to two of the most important former Polish 
political parties, the Christian Labor Party and the National Demo- 
cratic Party; and he urged that a special effort be made to ask Stalin 
to include leaders from these groups. In conclusion, he said he was 
not hopeful of the outcome of the consultations, for he thought the 
Russians were merely giving way to pressure at the moment, in the 
knowledge that the subsequent steps in the formation of the new 
government were the ones of real consequence .* 

In the messages that the British Embassy in Moscow was receiving 
from the British Foreign Office about the Stalin-Hopkins accord there 
was a similar note of pessimism. The belief was expressed that no real 

* Triumfi anj TragUy, page j*». 

• Mikola jetyk, in the book he wrote liter, Tkt ratten cf SocUl Domination, page rat, 
review* the attainted lot and re»tate* hie doubt* about it and the projected plan. ThU 
written account give* the tmprewion that hi* retpome wa» more proieiting and critical 
tH>n it appear* in the contemporary report* of it made by the American and British diplo- 
matic rep men ta tit e* in London with whom he talked. 



advance had been made, since the Soviet government would not allow 
the preliminary talks to result in the formation of a government that 
would give effective influence to independent elements, enough to en- 
able them to see that the elections were conducted properly. On June 
5, while Hopkins and Harriman at the American Embassy were reflect- 
ing on this sober estimate, Truman asked them to try to get Stalin to 
agree to certain small changes on the list which would be very helpful 
and create a favorable reaction among Polish circles abroad. But they 
were authorized to go ahead on the best basis they could reach, for the 
President thought that Hopkins was doing “a grand job,” and told 
him so. 

In his last talk with Stalin, Hopkins won him over to some of the 
desired changes. They agreed that the Commission should promptly 
issue invitations to those on the revised list. As a last act of precaution, 
Hopkins confirmed his understanding that in the prospective consulta- 
tions no derision would be reached by the Commission of Three, of 
which Molotov was Chairman, except unanimously. 

The President and the State Department were much relieved that a 
way out of the Polish morass had been sighted. They were pleased by 
reports of Stalin’s amiability. 

What Hopkins had obtained from Stalin was an affirmation (t) that 
the Soviet government did not intend to interfere with Polish affairs; 
(2) that it would not oppose the inclusion of independent political ele- 
ments in the Polish government; and (3) that it would join with the 
American and British governments in seeing to it that the reorganized 
Polish government held free elections and respected individual rights 
and liberties. 

In return, Hopkins had agreed (1) that only Poles who had ac- 
cepted the Yalta accord were to be invited to consult with the Commis- 
sion of Three; (2) that the Soviet government retained the right to 
dominate the outcome, since all members of the Commission of Three 
would have to approve any agreement reached by the Polish Commis- 
sion (and if no accord was reached, the Red Army and the subservient 
Warsaw regime could continue to extend their control) ; and (3) that 
the Warsaw government was to have a dominant place in the reformed 
government. Also, Hopkins had refrained from challenging two de- 
cisive acts that the Soviet government had taken on its own. These were 
the turning over of part of its zone in Germany to the Poles, and the 
signature of a treaty with the Warsaw regime. 

I »07l 


The chance that this accord might eventuate in an unhampered 
Polish government depended on the good faith of the Soviet authori- 
ties in seeing to it that free and honest elections were carried out. That 
was the only route by which the Polish people might be able to de- 
termine the form and policies of their government. 

Hopkins did his animated best to induce Stalin to release arrested 
leaders of the Polish underground who were being examined as a pre- 
liminary to trial. Forgiveness toward them, he tried to impress upon 
Stalin, would gratify American public opinion and make it easier for 
the American government to gain the support of the Poles in the United 
States for an ultimate settlement of the Polish question. It would also, 
he emphasized, lessen the bitterness in the circles of the Government- 
in-Exile in London and among the Polish forces that had fought with 
the allies, for these felt deeply that the captives had been engaged in a 
patriotic and courageous struggle. And, he said, though without any 
ring of accusation, it was the general belief that it would be just to re- 
lease these men, who had acted, he thought, without bad intent. 

On the evening of May 31, after the formal dinner that Stalin gave 
him, Hopkins made the point that he thought it would be much easier 
for him to secure approval of the list of persons who were to be in- 
vited to come to Moscow for consultation if the Soviet government re- 
leased at least those prisoners who were charged only with minor mis- 
deeds. Stalin was unrelenting, saying he knew that all the prisoners had 
^gagcd in what he called “diversionist” activities. Then, no doubt 
aware of Hopkins’ disposition to be critical of the British, he said he 
thought that Churchill had misled the American government in regard 
to the facts, causing it to believe the statements of the Polish govern- 
ment in London though just the opposite was true. With vehemence he 
declared he did not intend to have the British manage the affairs of 
Poland, which was exactly what they wanted to do. When all the evi- 
dence was published, it would look very bad for the British. Still, to 
please American and British public opinion, he would do what he could 
to ease Churchill out of a bad spot. At the end he told Hopkins that 
although the men must be tried, they would be treated leniently. 

Both Churchill and Mikolajczyk, when approving the arrangement 
for consultations, had deplored the need to do so while these men were 
kept under detention and in jeopardy. Thus on June 5, Hopkins tersely 
told Churchill: “I am doing everything under heaven to get these 

[ 108 ] 


people out of the ‘jug.’ But the more important thing, it seems to me, is 
to get these Poles together in Moscow right away.” 10 

He had been authorized to separate the two questions. But in his last 
talk with Stalin, marked by a mutual sense of accomplishment and ac- 
cord, Hopkins once again pleaded for the arrested Poles and once more 
urged Stalin to try to please American feeling. Stalin stood fast, promis- 
ing only that he would give thought to the views and statements Hop- 
kins had expressed. There can be little doubt, in retrospect, that Stalin 
was dead set against doing anything that might spare anyone associated 
with the Polish government in London. He hated and feared it, and was 
determined to crush it out of existence. 

While Hopkins was striving to work out a solution for Poland, the 
situation in the former satellite countries was being discussed between 
the Heads of Government. On the 27th of May Stalin sent similar mes- 
sages to Churchill and Truman. Eight months had passed, he recalled, 
since Romania and Bulgaria had broken with Hitler’s Germany and 
gone into the war on the side of the allies. They had thereafter con- 
tributed to the defeat of Hitlerism. Thus, he believed, it was about 
time that diplomatic relations be restored with their governments. As 
for Finland, it would be well to do the same with that country, since 
it was now “taking the democratic way” and perhaps also with Hun- 
gary, a little later. 11 

The President, on June 2, sent Hopkins and Harriman his reply, 
for transmission to Stalin. Truman also wanted the armistice periods to 
be short. He too thought that they ought quickly to reward the efforts 
of these countries to line up with the principles of the allied nations. 
Thus he was ready to exchange diplomats with Finland at once, since 
its people had proved their true devotion to democratic ways and pre- 
cepts. He did not find the same remedial tendencies in Romania and 
Bulgaria or in Hungary. There democracy was being repressed, and 
there the groups in power were neither representative of the popular 
will nor responsive to it. But the American government was prepared 
to engage at once in consultation with the Soviet and British govern- 
ments, with a view to concerting policies and actions vis-a-vis these 
three satellites. That could lead to a restoration of normal relations 
with them as independent states. 

10 Triumfk • nl Trtgtlj, pace jtj. 

11 Stalin Correipondenc*, vol. t, pafe j«t. 

[ 109] 


Hopkins and Harriman, afraid that the difference delineated in Tru- 
man’s answer might set them back, asked permission to defer delivery of 
this response until after the talks about Poland were concluded. They 
were told that they might choose their time. Harriman did not de- 
lay long. On June 7, just after Hopkins got on his plane to leave Mos- 
cow, he passed the President’s message along to Stalin. The Marshal, as 
will be told later, argued back. 

T no] 

17 - Hopkins-Stalin Talks on Far Eastern 

Next to the search for an acceptable accord about Poland, the foremost 
purpose in sending Hopkins to Moscow had been to ascertain what 
Stalin was going to do about Far Eastern matters. 1 Hopkins was asked 
to extract from talk with Stalin knowledge that would be of use in de- 
riding whether it was to American advantage to continue to place our 
trust in the secret agreement reached at Yalta, and whether we should 
try to secure Chinese concurrence in it. Doubts had sprouted into two 
confluent sets of questions. 

One concerned Soviet intentions in Chinese affairs. Would the Rus- 
sians really respect Chinese sovereignty? Would they be friendly to 
the National government and abstain from aiding or encouraging the 
Chinese Communists? Would they cooperate with the American gov- 
ernment to bring about political and military unity in China, the pur- 
pose upon which our policy focused? 

The other set concerned the military plans of the Soviet government. 
Would it enter the war against Japan, and in time to save American 
lives? The laggard and evasive responses to American requests for joint 
advance military measures had aroused our impatience and, curious as it 
now seems, caused worry over Soviet designs. Despite the swift ad- 
vance of our forces toward Japan and our self-sufficient plans to defeat 
Japan, which had been conceived by the middle of May, Soviet entry 
into the war was still wanted by the American military authorities. 

Hopkins along with Harriman, who knew most about the talks both 
before and at Yalta that had led to that accord, and who had urged 
Roosevelt at the time to seek a clearer version of its ambiguous clauses 
before signing, had been asked to find out the answers. In his third 
talk with Stalin on May 28, Hopkins tried to do so (while still think- 
ing over Stalin’s proposals about Poland). He said that the American 
government was most interested in unity in China. But he did not 
know of any definite American plan for bringing this about, and he 
would like to hear what Stalin thought of the prospect of Chinese unity 

1 TJie telling of the event*, decisions, and policies in the Far East during this crucial 
period from May to the Japanese surrender in September 1945 is being left for another 
volume. Thus they will figure in thi* narrative only when and as they directly entered into 
or influenced the member* of the coalition in their talks and treatment of affairs in the 



and how it could be achieved . 2 Stalin said that he too thought it de- 
sirable that China should be unified and become an integrated state, and 
that “we should all occupy ourselves with helping China to achieve 
unity.” And at a later point in the talk he remarked that “The United 
States must play the largest part in helping China to get on their feet; 
the Soviet Union would be busy with its own internal reconstruction and 
Great Britain would be occupied elsewhere .” 3 

By such open and amiable assent to American aims and American 
stardom in China, he had, months before, convinced our Ambassador 
in China, Patrick J. Hurley, that we could count on his aid . 4 

Harriman then went on to ask a series of pointed questions. What 
would the Soviet attitude be if China was not unified when Soviet 
troops entered Manchuria? Would the Marshal consider it possible in 
that case to make the necessary arrangements with Chiang Kai-shek? 
Stalin answered without pause. The Soviet government did not propose 
to alter the sovereignty of China over Manchuria or any other part of 
Chinv, and the Soviet Union bad no territorial, claims on China, either 
in Sinldang or elsewhere. “In regard to the Generalissimo, ... he 
knew little of any Chinese leader, but he felt that Chiang Kai-shek was 
the best of the lot and would be the one to undertake the unification 
of China. He said he saw no other possible leader and that for example 
he did not believe that the Chinese Communist leaders were as good or 
would be able to bring about the unification of China .” 3 

Was Stalin going to ask Chiang Kai-shek to organize the civil ad- 
ministration when Soviet troops entered Manchuria? He would, Stalin 
replied; in Manchuria, as in any part of China where Soviet troops 
went, the Chinese civil administration could be set up by Chiang Kai- 
shek. “Chiang could send his representatives to set up the Kwantung 
regime in any areas where the Red Army were .... the Soviet gov- 
ernment was prepared to talk with the Chinese and if they wanted rep- 
resentatives in the areas where the Red Army would be they would be 
quite prepared to accept them.”* 

Who except the most unbelieving would have doubted promises so 
frontal and explicit? They were deemed to be of enough value to China 
and the Kuomintang government to warrant them in concurring in 

* Iloplint had not been toll! in Wuhiagtoo of any detailed plan for bringing about 
Qrineae unity, in cooperation with the Soviet Union. One vu worked up by the State D*- 
partmeet, however, while Ilopkim and Harriman were on their way to Mokow. 

Pottdam Fapen, Document j6, Bobles memo of Stalin- Ilopkim talk. May a*. 

* Fti», Tkt Cinu Tan fit, pagee 2I4.S9. 

* Potedam Paper*, Document a®, Bohlen memo of Stalin -Ilopkim talk. Mar 1*. 


[ 112 ] 


the Yalta accord, thus rewarding the Soviet Union for entering the 
Pacific war. Would these promises not enable China to regain pos- 
session of Manchuria and Formosa? Would they not mean that China 
would be protected against superior Soviet force? Would they not in- 
fluence the Chinese Communists to come to terms with the National 
government, accepting a conjunctive political and military place? 

If such boons would flow from Chiang Kai-shek’s assent to the Yalta 
accord, why continue to hesitate to carry it through ? What reason was 
left for not seeking thereby to make sure that the huge Red Army 
would crush the Japanese in Manchuria, and leave the American com- 
bat forces free for other tasks, and bring the war to an end sooner? 

About his intentions in that regard Stalin was also asked directly. He 
forecast that the Red Army would be properly deployed in its Man- 
churian positions and ready to attack by August 8. But he added that 
the actual date depended on China’s approval of the Yalta accord. 
He was willing to clarify and complete its terms and application by a 
firm agreement with the Chinese National government. For that pur- 
pose he would like T. V. Soong (the Chinese Premier and Foreign 
Minister) to come to Moscow, not later than the first of July. 

In his report to Washington about this long talk on May 28, Hopkins 
said that in the light of what Stalin had said about Far Eastern matters, 
he believed it desirable that the American government adopt the pro- 
cedure suggested by the Marshal. Truman, all the more relieved by 
this report because of the predictions of the military of the losses we 
might suffer in the final battles against the Japanese, gladly agreed.* 
In doing so he discarded the idea of waiting to seek Chiang Kai- 
shek’s concurrence in the Yalta accord until the outcome of the test of 
the atomic bomb was known, or until he met with Stalin. 

7 Thus in Year of Dtcitions, page a6j, Truman recalls: “I was reassured to learn 
from Hopkins that Stalin had confirmed the understanding reached at Yalta about Russia's 
entry into the war against Japan. Our military experts had estimated that an invasion of 
Japan would cost at least five hundred thousand American casualties even if the Japanese 
forces then in Asia were held on the Chinese mainland. Russian entry into the war against 
Japan was highly important to us.” 

His satisfaction with what he thought Hopkins had achieved is reflected in his talk with 
Stimson a week later. Then he told the Secretary of War, according to an entry in Stinson's 
diary for June 6, that there was a promise in wiling (my italics) that Manchuria would 
remain fully Chinese except for a ninety-nine year lease on Port Arthnr and the settlement 
at Dairen. When Stimson warned him that Russian power, with control of the railways 
running across Manchuria, would probably outweigh Chinese, the President said the 
promise was perfectly clear and distinct. Did he have in mind only the Yalta written ac- 
cord? Did he think Hopkins and Stalin had put their interpretive application of the Yalta 
accord in writing? Or had Stimson either misunderstood Truman or been hastily careless 
in his diary entry* 

[»3 J 


He authorized Hopkins to inform Stalin that Soong would be told 
Stalin would like to see him in Moscow before July I, and that we 
would provide a plane to get him there. On Soong’s arrival in Moscow, 
the President added, he would have the American Ambassador in China 
take up with Chiang Kai-shek the promises held out to the Soviet 
Union at Yalta. If the Sino-Soviet talks went well, they would, it was 
anticipated, be over before the scheduled meeting of Heads of Gov- 
ernment at Potsdam. 

On the night of June 6, as Hopkins was starting off on his last talk 
with the Marshal, Stalin again told him that the Soviet Union would 
enter the war against Japan only if and after Chiang Kai-shek concurred 
in the Yalta accord. He had not yet heard, he remarked, when Soong 
would get to Moscow. Harriman let him know that he and Hopkins 
believed Soong should plan to arrive before the end of June — and im- 
plied that they were so advising the President* 

On the same day (June 6) Stettinius in San Francisco relayed Stalin s 
message to Soong: come to Moscow before July to talk with me. Before 
saying yes or no Soong wanted to learn what was going to be asked of 
him. So it was arranged that he be flown to Washington straight away. 

Truman within the next week told him what was in the secret Yalta 
accord. But both he and Grew resisted Soong’s efforts to get them to 
interpret the meaning of some of its capacious clauses. Disquieted, Soong 
set off on his quest to Moscow via Chungking. The American govern- 
ment went ahead with plans for conquest of Japan by its own and British 
forces alone, if need be. But it continued to value highly the reaffirmed 
assurance of Soviet cooperation in ultimately converging assaults. Plans 
for adjusting Russian operations to our own were made ready for dis- 
cussion with Stalin and the Soviet Chiefs of Staff at Potsdam. 

Our wish to have the Soviet Union join in the Pacific war was not 
affected by the fact that in the consequential talk on May 28 Stalin 
made it dear that he would like to have a say in what was done about 
Japan. After he and Hopkins had agreed on the program for Sino-Soviet 
talks to effectuate the Yalta accord, Stalin said he thought that Japan 
was doomed and the Japanese knew it. Since peace feelers were being pu* 
out by certain elements in Japan, he continued, he believed the time had 
come to "consider together our joint attitude and act in concert about the 

*Tt>« Chineie Ambamdor in Mmcow bid informed Ilirriman that Soong wanted. to 
wilt in the United Slain until llppkim got back to Wiibingion, in order lo rontulc witb 
bim. But llopkim »i* nor anaioui to »« Soong. So be auggnted to Wiibingion tbit if 
Soong wai going to return to Chungking before going on to Moecow. it would be be** 
that he leave tU United State, at ooct. 

[ U4] 


surrender of Japan .” 9 He feared that Japan would try to divide the allies. 
Hopkins did not comment on this remark, but probably Washington 
meditated over it. Was it a hint that the Soviet government might make 
a deal with Japan if its desires were not satisfied? Was it an attempt to 
detect whether the American government might soften its attitude toward 
Japan and offer peace on easier terms unless the Soviet Union entered the 
war ? 10 

The second possibility is suggested by Stalin’s following remarks. He 
expressed a strong preference for stiffly maintaining the demand for un- 
conditional surrender and all it implied. He was also in favor of ex- 
tinguishing imperial institutions, for he thought that unless the military 
might of the Japanese was once and for all thoroughly destroyed, they 
would start at once to plan a war of revenge. But he foresaw that if we 
did retain the unconditional-surrender formula the Japanese would not 
give up, and the allies would have to overcome them completely, as they 
had the Germans. Should the Japanese offer to surrender on easier terms, 
and should the allies be prepared to accept a modified surrender, then (as 
phrased by Hopkins in his report to the President) “Stalin visualizes im- 
posing our will through our occupying forces and thereby gaining sub- 
stantially the same result as under [unconditional surrender]. In other 
words, it seemed to us that he proposes under this heading to agree to 
milder peace terms but once we get into Japan to give them the works .” 11 

Stalin also indicated that he expected Russia to share in the actual 
occupation of Japan. The American and Soviet governments would have 
to have “serious talks about Far Eastern problems, particularly in regard 
to Japan, including such questions as the zones of operations for the armies 
and zones of occupation in Japan.” 1 * Washington was eager to discuss 
zones of military operations, but was by then loath to contemplate any 
zonal plan for occupation. 

The mention of Korea was brief. Hopkins said the American govern- 
ment thought it would be desirable that the four most interested powers 
share in the trusteeship over Korea — the Soviet Union, the United States, 
China, and Great Britain. Its duration might be left open. It would 
certainly run for five or ten years, perhaps as long as twenty-five. Stalin 
said he fully agreed. 

• Sherwood, page 903. 

On this very day, May 18. Acting Secretary of State Grew was urging President 
Treroan to try to simulate Japan to surrender by letting it know that we would not oppress 
it and would allow it to retain imperial institutions, if the Japanese people so decided. 

»» Sherwood, pages 903-04. 

1* Potsdam Papers, Document 16, Bohlen memo of Stalin-Hopkine talk, May 18. 



After these talks — of which I have given only a skimming version— 
the American and British governments ought to have been able to dis- 
cern how the Soviet government conceived its position in the Far East 
in relation to their own, after the defeat of Japan. The Soviet Union 
would acquire the southern half of Sakhalin, the Kurile Islands, ex- 
tensive rights in Manchuria, and a naval base at the end of the Kwantung 
peninsula at Port Arthur. Japan would be so diminished it need not be 
feared. As one of the controlling and occupying powers in Japan the 
Soviet Union would have an active chance to convert the Japanese to its 
side, or to keep them down, as it should later decide. China might or 
might not be unified under Chiang Kai-shek’s real or nominal control. 
Even if it were, China and the Chinese government would be weak for 
a long time} and even If the Chinese Communists accepted for the time 
being a secondary place in the Chinese government, they could con- 
tinue their struggle for control. In Korea there was to be for an indefinite 
period a trusteeship, in the administration of which the Soviet govern- 
ment would have much influence. 

Even assuming that the prospect was viewed this way in Washing- 
ton and London, the authorities there had to reckon with the probability 
(noted in the answers that Stimson and Forrestal had made to Grew not 
long before) that the Soviet Union could obtain all these advantages 
without going to war, except perhaps the Kurile Islands and a part in the 
occupation of Japan. 


1 8. Relief for the San Francisco Conference 

One reason why Hopkins’ reports were read in a receptive mood was 
that he got Stalin to whisk away a barrier stalling the Conference at San 

It will be recalled that the Conference had been cast into a crisis over 
the issue whether any one of the permanent members should be able 
to prevent the Security Council from discussing a dispute or situation 
(when it was not directly involved). The Soviet delegation had clung 
to the view that this right ought to be reserved, as essential for unity 
among the great powers. It had forewarned that if the Council was 
authorized to engage itself in a dispute against the wish of any one of 
the permanent members, their relations would be exposed to strain. The 
American government and those of kindred outlook were willing to take 
that risk. The legally minded thought it to be small, since the require- 
ment of unanimity was so well protected in other sections of the Charter. 
The morally minded thought that proposed restraint offended against 
the sense of equal chance and standing before the tribunal that should 
prevail in the organization. The politically minded tended to want many 
nations, not only the few strongest ones, to be able to exert effective in- 
fluence in the treatment of disputes. All agreed that this check on Council 
action would be so resented that many countries — including the United 
States— might refuse to join the new organization. 

Was Stalin about to spoil the vision of enduring peace for which 
we had fought two wars? Truman decided to put the question hard and 
directly to Stalin. In the instruction that was hurried off to Hopkins and 
Harriman an overtone of indignation can be heard. After reviewing 
the issue it observed: “The Soviet proposal carries the principle of the 
veto . . . even to the right of a single nation to prevent any considera- 
tion and discussion of a dispute. We feel that this would make a farce 
of the whole proposed world organization.” 

The American envoys were asked to find out whether Stalin fully 
realized what the advices sent to Gromyko meant, and how they would 
affect the character of the organization that was being formed: “Please 
tell Kim in no uncertain words,” the message said, “that this country 
could not possibly join an organization based on so unreasonable an in- 
terpretation of the provision of the great powers in the Security Council. 
Please tell him that we are just as anxious as he to build the organization 
on a foundation of complete unity but it must be unity of action in the 
light of a maximum of discussion. At no stage in our discussions relative 



to creation of the world organization at Dumbarton Oaks or at Y alta or at 
any other time was a provision ever contemplated which would make 
impossible freedom of discussion in the Council or Assembly. This is 
a wholly new and impossible interpretation.” 

Gromyko, it may be noted, had on the contrary been maintaining at San 
Frandsco that the American position was “new.” 

The memo of the talk that Hopkins and Harriman had with Stalin 
and Molotov on June 6, at their sixth and last meeting, may or may not 
be as straight as the trail of discussion itself. 1 But it is not so lurid as the 
student of this question (which under its technical dress is of real political 
importance) might wish. And it may be that some of the things said are 
not recorded in its loose chain of sentences. 

Molotov spoke up before Stalin. What he said sustained the instruction 
by which Gromyko had been guided, and the reasoning behind it. The 
memo goes on to relate briefly that a conversation took place in Russian 
between Molotov and Stalin, from which the American interpreter and 
recorder, Charles Bohlen, gathered that Stalin had not grasped the 
question before} and that he told Molotov he did not think the issue 
to be significant and the American view should be accepted. 

Stalin prefaced his own response to Hopkins by observing that there 
was a tendency among the small nations to exploit and even to create 
quarrels between the great powers for their own ends. The great powers, 
he warned, must be on guard lest this again cause trouble. “After all,” 
he observed, “two world wars have been begun over small nations.” 1 
There were statesmen who sought to get hold of the votes of small nations, 
and this was a dangerous and slippery path. But still, in the words of 
the memo, Marshal Stalin then stated that he was prepared to accept 
the American position on the point at issue at San Francisco in regard to 
voting procedure.” 1 

\ n ' VasJl ’ n £ ton and San Frandsco when the news 
that Stalin had deferred to the American view was received. It was hailed, 
. . rca l ncws that the San Frandsco Conference 

“ v ' d \ Th' President to delighted. Stcttinius to exdtet). 

All v U v hlS j ary tfUt “immensely happy 1 ’ about it. 

All sent to Hopbn, and Harriman buoyant messaged o£ praise. Stalin’s 
tone comment TO regarded by others as it seas by Senator Vandenberg: 
‘The tr« i. primed in Sherwood, p, e „ 

*od comet to uj thV/lhe* twtiin 'ttrofdiMo world w” 'L' 1 ’’ 5 ’'* haw ***“ ro0,e 
ri^lrp lor control over wull mUom. ^ rtd b '“ U * e £relt *° we ” wtre *“ 

* Sherwood, p»g» 


. a complete and total surrender. No attempt at any weasel-worded 
compromise. Just a straight-out acceptance of unhindered hearing and dis- 
cussion regarding any dispute brought before the Security Council. That 
ought to clear the track for a quick and successful conclusion of the Con- 
ference .” 4 

However, to foretell, when the representatives of the sponsoring 
powers met anew at San Francisco to express the presumed accord into an 
exact statement of their ideas for the information of the Conference, areas 
of unsettled intention re-emerged. An adequate analysis of these would 
carry us into long scrutiny of the texts over which committees once again 
pored , 5 Here it is perhaps enough merely to record that in final form the 
joint statement identified the types of decisions on which a “qualified” 
vote would be necessary and those for which only a procedural vote would 
suffice (that is, a vote of any seven members). 

In one sentence of this text there was what appeared to be a clear con- 
firmation that the Coundl was to be unrestricted by the veto in deciding 
whether or not to take cognizance of a dispute. It read: “Further, no 
individual member of the Coundl can alone prevent consideration and 
discussion by the Council of a dispute or situation brought to its attention 
. . . Nor can parties to such a dispute be prevented by these means from 
being heard by the Coundl." But tucked away in a later part of the text 
there was a statement that in “the unlikely case” of a difference of opinion 
as to whether one or the other type of vote should be required, this 
# “preliminary question” must be settled < ‘by a vote of seven members of 
the Security Coundl, including the concurring votes of the Permanent 
Members .” 9 

In reality, this four-power statement was a hazy blend of the Anglo- 
American view of freedom of discussion and the Soviet view on the 
“preliminary question.” Moreover, it was not enlarged into a formal 
international agreement. The Conference refused to vote on it, and its 
contents were only in part made explidt in the Charter. 

An issue of similar import, which caused almost as crucial a crisis in 
the Conference, concerned the scope of the authority of the General 

* V ander.betg, entry for June 7, 1945. page 20S. 

* They are considered with fullness and competence in Russell, Part Five. 

6 The title of this statement was: “Four-Power Statement at San Francisco Conference 
on Voting Procedure in the Security Council, June 7, »94J.” The text may be found in 
United Nations, Document! on . . . Conference on International Organization, vol. a, 
pages 710-14. Because it is oblique in its method of exposition, no summary interpretations 
can be conclusive. The one on which I have drawn is that made by Francis O. Wilcox in 
the American Political Science Review (October 1945). 

r 1:9] 


Assembly. Several smaller nations, led by Australia, were determined 
upon a paragraph that in original form read: “The General Assembly 
shall have the right to discuss any matter within the sphere of inter- 
national relations, and (subject to specified exceptions) ... to make 
recommendations to the members of the organization or to the Security 
Council, or both, on any such matters.” 

Gromyko stood out against any such broad license. He voiced the 
fear that the Assembly might interfere in matters of purely domestic 
concern. The suggested language, he warned, would encourage the im- 
pulse of any nation, with any kind of complaint, to arouse trouble. 

The American and British groups at first sought to avoid another affray 
by refraining from support of this paragraph, since they thought that 
authority of the Assembly was well enough set forth elsewhere. They 
tried to persuade the Australian delegation and its supporters that this 
was $0} but to no avail. 

Thus during the first two weeks of June a stubborn and intense ex- 
change of arguments ensued over a variety of proposed textual changes 
far too numerous and detailed to be recounted here. Then, on the 16th, 
the Soviet delegation, for the first time, agreed that the right of the 
Assembly to discuss any dispute or situation would be unrestricted. But it 
continued to insist that the right to make recommendations should be 
circumscribed. Though not pleased by the Soviet proposal, some of the 
American group at San Francisco might have assented to it in order that 
the issue should no longer keep the Conference unsettled and postpone 
the finish of its work. But the advocates of the original statement would 
not yield. No less grimly, Gromyko turned aside the pleas of both major 
and minor delegates by just saying over and over that “The Soviet govern- 
ment does not agree” and that he was under firm instructions not to sign 
the Charter unless the language met Soviet wishes. It was at lunch after 
a morning marked by such reiteration that the Earl of Halifax said to 
Gromyko that he now understood how his countrymen had managed to 
hold Stalingrad against apparently hopeless odds. T 

There ensued a last spasm of fatigued effort to hit on phrases that all 
might adopt. Again the task of excavating out of the voluminous minutes 
the details of this drama of constitution-making must be left to others. 
On the 19th, all other ways having failed, Stettinius, anguished, asked 
Harriman to try to win round the Soviet government. He was told to 
see whether it could be induced to accept any of three alternative texts, 
which were sent on from San Francisco. He was authorized to let the 

* lUifit, fulfill cf D*yt, 19,. 

[ 120 ) 

Soviet government know that if it would not do so, the American govern- 
ment saw no choice except to allow the Conference to adopt whatever 
rule it preferred — even if as a consequence the Soviet government should 
refuse to join the organization. 

For the American officials the following night was another worried 
one. They were convinced that they could not give in on what they con- 
ceived to be a vital issue, one that could determine whether or not the 
Assembly might become the “town-meeting of the world.”* But what if 
the Soviet government maintained its refusal and let the Conference end 
under this threatening cloud of dissent? So there was great relief when 
Gromyko made it known, on the zoth, that he had been given permission 
to accept one of the three formulas.* 

With the removal of the last serious obstacle to the adoption of the 
complete text of the Charter, the way was open to move on to its signature. 
The conflict of views with the Soviet government was indicative of Soviet 
unwillingness to repose trust in the impartiality of the majority of the 
countries in the United Nations. The American and British governments 
felt that by and large they could count on a concordance of judgment and 
interest between themselves and most of the members of the new or- 
ganization. The Soviet government felt that it must be on guard against 
the enmity of many or most of the other members — or if not their enmity, 
their will to resist Soviet aspirations. 

The prolonged contention at San Francisco expressed itself in debate 
between strong sovereign nations over involved written texts. But words 

8 Thi» tenacity, however, was true only to a degree. The American government warded 
off all proposals that it thought might enable other, to try to get the United Nations to 
intrude into fields regarded as wholly in the domain of domestic decision (such as trade 
and immigration). It was determined to reserve the right to draw the line for itself. Had 
the American government been consistent, it would have become engaged in a similar 
argument with the Soviet government over some of the provisions in the Charter which 
defined the realm of jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. Many countries 
wished to accord to the Court compulsory jurisdiction over certain kinds of legal disputes 
among the members. But in opposing any such provision, even though carefully circum- 
scribed, the American delegation found itself aligned with the Soviet delegation. The mam 
reason for this departure from the general attitude was the fear aroused by memories of 
the defeat by the Senate of the United States of the determined attempt made in 193 j by 
President Roosevelt to secure approval for American membership in the World Court. 

*This enveloping compromise formula, as written into Article 10 of the Charter, read, 
“The General Assembly may discuss any questions or any matters within the scoft of the 
frescos Charter . , . and, except as provided in Article 12, may make recommendations to 
the members of the United Nations or to the Security Council or to both on any such ques- 
tions or matters" (compromise formula italicised by me). It bad already been agreed, 
and was so provided ui Article 11, that the Assembly should abstain from making any 
recommendations with regard to a dispute or situation that was under active consideration 
in the Security Council, unless the Council requested it to do so. 

t 121 ] 


in a document do not always control conduct, even when their meaning 
is dear. This will remain so until or unless the more exalted elements in 
the complex of purposes that inspired the creation of the United Nations 
come to prevail among the people and the decision-makers of the major 

The Charter was unanimously adopted on June 25* The spirit of the 
occasion was exhibited in President Truman’s address to the final session, 
in which he said: “The Charter of the United Nations which you have 
just signed is a solid structure upon which we can build a better world. 

. . . Between the victory in Europe and the final victory in Japan, m 
this most destructive of all wars, you have won a victory against war 
itself.” Few of those who took part in the Conference and few commen- 
tators openly stressed that the future of the new organization would 
vitally depend on the way and the extent to which the West and the 
Soviet Union would give in to each other on the matters over which even 
then they were at odds. Nor did many find it appropriate to emphasize 
the need for self-restraint and self-inspection on the part of all nations, 
great and small. But it may be assumed that beneath the resounding cheers 
with which the veterans of this conference hailed the completion of their 
work, all but the inexperienced were aware of such elementary truths. 

The vibrating question for the future was whether the essential rules 
of good conduct would be sufficiently heeded to dominate national ego- 
tisms, ambitions, fears, and compulsions. Before another month had 
passed, that question was to become more vital than ever in the history 
of mankind, as nuclear explosive weapons were perfected and the human 
power to destroy made absolute. 

The conclusion, in cheerful concord, of the Conference at San Fran- 
cisco cleared the way for the meeting of the Heads of State at Potsdam. 
It confirmed the decision of the American people to play the part prof- 
fered them in the affairs — twisted and touchy — of the whole world. 

The effect on American official outlook of the presumed success of 
the Hopkins mission and the casing of various other situations, traced 
in other chapters, is visible in the summing up that Acting Secretary of 
State Grew nude for the British Chargfi d’ Affaires on June 8, the day 
after Hopkins left Moscow. He said he did not want to crow before the 
van had risen, but surely the international scene was brighter than it had 
been before. Russia had yielded in the question of veto in the Security 
Council, and thus it was all but sure that a satisfactory charter for the 
permanent organization of the United Nations would be completed; 

[ 122 ] 

Hopkins’ visit to the Soviet Union had gone off well, bringing other 
solutions into sight and improving the state of feeling; the allies were 
about to sign an accord with Tito that would end the danger of an armed 
dash over control of northeast Italy; de Gaulle had receded from his 
attempt to take over a small fringe of northwest Italy, and the trouble 
with him about the Levant states was quieting down. 

These happenings seemed to Truman to indicate that his general course 
was sound. They revived his drooping belief that through personal talk 
with Stalin the two countries could get back on good terms and deal 
with their differences in honest and friendly fashion. The mood in the 
White House became briefly blithe. 

The date for the meeting with Stalin and Churchill had been set. 
Studies of its subjects were coming off a hundred typewriters. But before 
telling of the way in which that conference was arranged wc ought to 
turn aside to London. There another special envoy of the President, 
Joseph E. Davies, was talking to Churchill — trying to convince that 
man of spirit that he ought to soothe the Soviet rulers rather than chal- 
lenge them. 

C *23 3 

i. Davies’ Visit to London 


Churchill did not share the turn of feeling and expectation. He still 
feared Soviet purposes and acts, and at moments verged on depression 
over the European prospect. The great warrior who had stood alone be- 
fore 1940 felt that he had again to battle for his views against obtuse or 
inert associates. Besides, he was faring an election at home. Though 
acclaimed by the British people he had led to victory, he was not sure of 
the way they might lean now that the exhausting ordeal was over. 

Davies had been sent to London to bring the ardent Prime Minister 
to realize that the American government was not going to adopt the 
measures he was urging; that it was not going to give way to mistrust 
of Russia. He was to be talked into being more patient and conciliatory. 
As Davies expressed it in the memo he gave the President after his 
return, he told the Prime Minister that Truman “conceives it to be the 
duty of the three nations which won the war to leave nothing undone in 
an effort to solve their differences, and through continued unity make 
possible a just and durable peace structure.” 

Churchill was given to understand that Truman wanted to meet with 
Stalin alone somewhere in Europe before the three of them got to- 
gether for their conference. As Davies awkwardly exposed this wish to 
the Prime Minister, the President thought the situation was the more 
serious because the Soviet rulers believed Britain and the United States 
were “ganging up on them,” a suspicion that ought to be dispelled. This 
could be done only if the parties had a chance to talk frankly, and to 
know and estimate each other. On that score the President was at a 
disadvantage, since both Churchill and Eden had had the benefit of 
frequent past contacts and friendly association with Stalin and Molotov. 
The President wanted, in view of the responsibility he must assume, to 
have a similar chance. He therefore “desired an opportunity to meet the 
Marshal immediately before the scheduled forthcoming meeting.” 

Just what program Davies had in mind for these introductory talks 
between Truman and Stalin is not clear, even after scanning his testi- 
mony and the record as remembered by the Prime Minister. Churchill 
gathered, rightly or wrongly, that Truman had in mind more prolonged 
private talks than the informal chats a deux that the Heads of Govern- 
ment had had with each other before the regular sessions of the con- 
ferences atTeheran and Yalta got under way. 1 

* Cl-urckill, is Trixmfk mtU Trtrijy (page 577), etprened k'u undemanding: ns foU 
>w»: true of »lil [win] kid to propose was tkii ike President should meet 

C 1=4 1 


It must have been hard for Churchill, who was spurting cautions that 
Russia might become the new oppressor of Europe, to listen to Davies’ 
comments on the source of current tensions, for they were akin to personal 
reprimands. In effect he placed the blame for Soviet suspicions and mis- 
conduct on the American and British governments, and pointed to the 
Prime Minister as the chief malefactor, or at least the most active cause 
of the worsening trouble and the recent swerves in Soviet policy. Davies’ 
attitude is evident from his written report: . . frankly as I had listened 
to [Churchill], inveighing so violently against the threat of Soviet 
domination and the threat of Communism in Europe, and disclosing such 
a lade of confidence in the professions of good faith of Soviet leadership, 
I had wondered whether he, the Prime Minister, was now willing to 
declare to the world that he and Britain had made a mistake in not 
supporting Hitler, for if I understood him, he was now expressing the 
doctrine which Hitler and Goebbels had been proclaiming and reiterating 
for the past four years in an effort to break up allied unity and *Divide 
and Conquer.’ ” 

Davies had ready explanations for the Prime Minister’s vehement re- 
sponse to h» accusations. “Obviously, [Churchill] was upset and con- 
cerned over two situations which he saw developing which I could under- 
stand. First, the possible effect of the proposal [Truman-Stalin meeting] 
upon his election, and second, the confirmation of his fear of the with- 
drawal of the U.S, from Europe and particularly that Britain might be 
deprived of our military strength in trading with the Soviets.” 

Churchill was shocked to learn that while he had had the impression 
that the United States and Great Britain were united on the main measures 
to govern the peace, important American officials did not think so and 
were causing the new President to keep his distance. It may be assumed 
that the Prime Minister sensed what Davies thought and was going to 
tell the President, Leahy, and others: “The Prime Minister is a very 
great man, but there is no doubt that he is 'first, last and all the time a 

Stalin first somewhere in Europe before he saw me.” Truman, in year of DecUhnt (page 
*60), haa explained that his intention was merely to suggest to Churchill “that when we 
arrived at our meeting place, I would have an opportunity to see each separately.” 

Doubt about how Davie* explained Truman’s intention to Chorchill is enhanced by a 
passage in a letter sent by Molotov to Harriman on May aS, in which Molotov referred 
to a message that Davies had recently sent him, raising the question of “the meeting of the 
ttvo heads of Government and also of a place of this meeting” (my italics), and to 
Molotov’s answer to Davies. No mention of such an exchange of messages between Davies 
and Molotov on this subject is to be found either in the various printed account* of Davies’ 
oral report to Truman on his mission (Truman and Leahy books) or in Davies’ supple- 
mental written report to the President. 

[ 12J] 


great Englishman.’ I could not escape the Impression that he was basically 
more concerned over preserving Britain’s position in Europe than in 
preserving peace. In any event he had convinced himself that in serving 
England, he was best serving peace.” About this, the comment that 
Admiral Leahy later wrote in his book is telling: “This was consistent 
with our staff estimate of Churchill’s attitude throughout the war.” 2 
Among the other impressions that Davies conveyed to the President were 

“The Prime Minister was tired, nervous and obviously working under 
great stress. The vehemence and bitterness of his expressions would 
undoubtedly be much modified with considered judgment. 

“He [the Prime Minister] was bitterly disappointed by the Presi- 
dent’s decision and the fact that American troops were already being 
diverted from Europe to the Eastern Theater, and would be withdrawn 
(retreat, as he called it) to the occupational zones agreed upon. . . . 
It has been his purpose, and so avowedly stated, to employ the presence 
of American forces and their position in advance of their lines, as trading 
material to induce concessions from the Soviets. His policy is based on 
the ‘tough approach.’ He was willing to run the great risk which such a 
gamble entails. 

“He [the Prime Minister] was bitterly hostile to the Soviet. . . . 
His attitude must be known to or at least suspected by the Soviet govern- 
ment. It is undoubtedly responsible for the suspicion voiced in the inter- 
change of cables in connection with the surrender of Germany’s troops in 
Italy j the situation in Austria, the suspicion that secret arrangements have 
been made on the Western front at the expense of the Russians on the 
Eastern front, and other troublesome situations. It could and does un- 
doubtedly account for much of the aggressiveness and so-called unilateral 
action on the part of the Soviets since Yalta. . . . They are protecting 
their position.” 

But Davies predicted that from then on the Prime Minister would be 
dodle. He reported him as saying at the end of their talks that “(l) He 
will not oppose the American policy toward Russia and (2) he is entirely 
in accord with the policy of trying to exhaust all means consistent with 
self-respect to resolve the differences between the Big Three.”* 

The sense of affront given by Davies’ suggestions and lectures was 
repressed in the brief message that Churehill sent Truman, on May 31, 

* Laky, / lt’«r Thtrf, pact jSo. 

* To ik'a itrtosl of Divirf talk, with Churchill I kin not followed the on»Titero»lic 
W»f ia which Davie, Brent out hit conclusion, in hi, report to the Prevdent, but hive 
combined whit teemed to be connected pir.v 



after his talks with Davies. “I had agreeable talks with Mr. Davies which 
he will report to you when he returns. I must say, however, at once, that 
I should not be prepared to attend a meeting which was a continuation 
of a conference between you and Marshal Stalin. I consider that at this 
victory meeting, at which subjects of the greatest consequence are to be 
discussed, we three should meet simultaneously and on equal terms.” 4 

Before answering, Truman waited for Davies to get back and report 
to him personally. Then on June 7, when sending thanks for Churchill’s 
acquiescence in the later date — July 15 — for the conference, he said he 
concurred that all three should meet at the same time. 

Davies’ visit may have served to make Churchill aware of the way 
in which his proposals were disturbing the civilian members of the Ameri- 
can government who thought continued cooperation with Russia essential 
for peace, and how keenly they were worrying the military members 
who wanted such cooperation in order to bring the war against Japan to 
the quickest possible end. It may have shaken his stand on some of the 
momentous matters that were to be discussed at the coming conference. 
But on the other hand, among the small American upper circles of derision, 
Davies’ version of Churchill’s aims, and tales of his violence of feeling, 
nourished suspicion of the Prime Minister's balance and motives. 

* A paraphrase of this message is in Year of Deciiiont, page 1S0. Churchill does not 
include it in Triumph and Tragedy. The Prime Minister had given free expression to his 
indignation in a long note intended for Truman, which he had dictated on May ay after 
hi* first talk with Davies, and which, according to hi* later recollection, he gave to Davies. 
Thi* note is printed in Trtamfh and Tragedy, pages 57S-S0, with the strongest passage 
italicized. Churchill, in his account of the episode, states that the President received this note 
in a kindly and understanding spirit. But Davies, in his report to the President, explicitly 
Mated that at their last talk he and Churchill agreed that it would he wiser (mainly in tht 
interests of secrecy) not to exchange aide-memoire 1 as they had previously agreed to do, 
and it is probable that Churchill did not actually give Davies the note he prints. No refer- 
ence to any such document is to be found in Year of Deceuoni or in the available Ameri- 

[ 127] 

20. Discord with de Gaulle 

While Hopkins at Moscow was sealing the edges of the protocol for 
the encounter of Heads of Government, and Davies in London was re- 
proving Churchill, General de Gaulle was wanting to visit Truman. His 
purposes were diverse. First of all, it was surmised, was the wish to 
gain entry to the coming conference, at which the future form of Europe 
might be set. His bid for inclusion in the Yalta gathering had been 
ignored, and he believed that thereby French interests had been hurt and 
French honor slighted. Was he again to be left out, even though this 
time matters of vital concern to France would be settled, as for example, 
what was to be done about Germany? 

De Gaulle must have known that the welcome he wanted could be 
had only if Churchill and Truman were able to revoke Stalin’s scornful 
sentence that France was not entitled or qualified to share in the mo- 
mentous decisions ahead. Both the Prime Minister and the President 
regarded de Gaulle as a man misled by visionary pride into asking too 
much for France. Still, their vexation over the person and his pretensions 
were offset by traditional friendship for France and a wish to have it re- 
emerge as a virile power. 

The quest for an invitation to the conference had been pursued through 
every diplomatic route in Washington, London, and Moscow, On May 
1 8 the President had told the French Ambassador that he would bear in 
mind de Gaulle’s wish to be present when and if he met with Churchill 
and Stalin. On the 29th, in a cordial letter, de Gaulle wrote in effect that 
he would be glad to come to Washington whenever the President wished, 
to talk over the many matters of common concern to their two countries. 
Truman at first frowned at this extra call on his time and energy. But 
Grew persuaded him not to put off this determined applicant just be- 
cause of his avidity to be present at the conference with Stalin and Church- 
ill. Could not the President honestly say that this could not be decided 
without the consent of the other two? It was agreed that de Gaulle 
should be informed that the President was willing to see him in mid-June- 
A message so saying was typed in the State Department. But it was not 
sent. Concurrent affronts led Truman to conclude that he would rather 
defer the visit and evade the request for admission to the conference. 

The American government was being provoked most of all by de 
Gaulle’s willfulness in keeping French troops in an adjoining sector of 



northwest Italy. In order that the German divisions on the Franco- 
Italian frontier might be held there as Jong as could be, French forces 
under Eisenhower’s command had been authorized at the beginning 
of April to patrol to a distance of twenty kilometers inside Italy. They 
had penetrated much further, 1 and had engaged in unusual and purpose- 
ful activities. They were trying to attract the civilians living in the 
Val d’Aosta away from Italy and to get them to clamor to be taken into 
France.® Preparations had been made for plebiscites. Extra rations were 
issued to those who used a French identity card. To the French this 
course seemed just and justified. During the first phase of the war, Italy 
had compelled France to keep many divisions along that frontier. Then 
in June 1940, when France was going down into the depths, the craven 
Mussolini had joined the attack and invaded France. 

But de Gaulle’s venture was regarded by the American and British 
governments as another sign of his willful ambition. Moreover, it was 
a serious threat to the principle they were trying to uphold against 
Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. 

General Alexander was under orders from the Combined Chiefs to 
extend Allied Military Government (U.S. and British) in Italy up to 
the frontier with France. So he had asked Eisenhower to order all French 
troops out of Italy. The Supreme Commander passed on the request to 
General Doyen, who was in command of the French contingents in Italy. 
Doyen answered that he could not withdraw unless so ordered by the 
French government. The State Department then asked our Ambassador 
in France, Jefferson Caffery, to get de Gaulle to tell Doyen to comply. 

1 French troops had advanced east into Italy to Ivrea, in the Val d’Aosta, and Rvvoli, 
only twenty kilometer, west of Turin, they had gone into Liguria, where they occupied 
quite a part of the province of Imperia — fourteen commune!, including Ventimiglia — 
and even into Savona on the Ligurian coast. 

2 Pc Gaulle in his Memoir/t, vol. Ill, page, 1*5-184, professes that hi, mail, inten- 
tion was to acquire «Qioe enclave, on the French ilope, of the Alp,, to incorporate in 
France two canton, that had once been part of Savoy-Tende and La Brigue — and per- 
haps the lame with Ventunille, if the inhabitant, favored. But although France had the 
best of ethnic and linguistic reaKJns for absorbing the Val d’Aosta they would be satisfied 
if Italy recognized it, autonomy. Moreover, he adds, the Italian government had allowed 
the French representative, to believe it wa, resigned to accepting it, condition,. 

The Val d 'Aosta, though it had for centuries been part of the dominions of the House 
of Savoy, had not been incorporated into France in 1 86o, when the rest of Savoy and Nice 
were taken as the price exacted by the F rench from Victor Emmanuel II for an alliance 
that: enabled him to defeat the Austrian, in the Italian V»'ar ob liberation in ,%J9- Many 
of the inhabitant, of the Val d’Aoita spoke French and had been much opposed to Musso- 
lini’s attempt to enforce Italian customs on the region and to stop the teaching of the 
French language in the schools. There was some sentiment in favor of reparation from 
Italy, especially on the part of a few partisan groups. But what the local population would 
have really liked was to become part of Switzerland. 



How much the French leader was trying the temper of the Prime 
Minister, as well as the President’s, is indicated by Churchill’s message 
on learning that Truman was going to defer the public statement: “the 
publication of your message would have led to the overthrow of de 
Gaulle, who after five long years of experience I am convinced is the 
worst enemy of France in her troubles . . . [and] one of the greatest 
dangers to European peace.” 4 Churchill, it may be hazarded, was think- 
ing more about the row he was having with de Gaulle over French actions 
in the Levant states than about northwest Italy. 

It may be interjected that on the day this letter was sent off to de 
Gaulle (June 6), Bidault was letting Grew know that he considered 
French intrusion into Italy not only against the rules, but foolish: “I 
was born very near that region. It is not worth the skin of a cat.” 

In Truman’s terse phrase, the warning “brought results.” The French 
Ambassador brought in de Gaulle’s answer on the 8th. This belittled the 
trouble. Were not American troops actually side by side and in good 
comradeship with the French troops? Why should France’s allies want 
to exclude her from this area? How could he but regret being asked to 
evacuate it? But unfair and unperceptive as the request was, he would 
comply with it. “In any case I intend to give you satisfaction insofar as 
for US ' Tomorrow morning, General Juin will proceed to 
Field Marshal Alexander’s headquarters to deal with this matter in the 
br ^f. CSt as P cct 0 ‘ conciliation in order that a solution may be found.” 

This response ended the clash. It was welcomed by Truman. But it 
was regretted by some of his advisers, for example Admiral Leahy, who 
« *i? j f i at lf dc Gaullc had rcfused to give in, he would have been 
finished. Grew had a different notion: that de Gaulle was on the down- 
grade, and that if we had caused him public humiliation, he would have 
regained support. 

A few daj-s later an agreement was concluded for the retreat of all 
French troops out of Italy by the 10 th of July. The American govern- 
ment waited until this was done before resuming the provision of military 
supp les or t c rench troops. But meanwhile a concurrent quarrel over 
ren e ort to regain control of Syria and Lebanon simmered on, 
giving off unpleasant fumes. 

entered into br . ’ * ccot<3,n ff *° him *1* did not approve the agreement 

menu ihould have * cm!n » merel r ‘k* 1 ""a’ 1 »UIed detach- 

er. goe elected reverb . t*"*? ****** | that the canton, of Tende and U 

SmS S£ « “ 5 " 

[« 32 ] 


These two small Arab countries had been French mandates under 
the League of Nations, but during the war the French forces had lost 
control over them. Native governments had emerged, which the United 
States, Great Britain, and Russia had recognized. As new and independent 
states, they were included in the number of those named to take part in 
the Conference at San Francisco. 

But de Gaulle was trying to impose his will on them. Talks about a 
new treaty to regulate French-Levantine relations had begun in March. 
The French negotiator, General Beynet, had sought of both Syria and 
Lebanon extensive and special concessions, political, cultural, and military. 
During an interruption in the discussions the French had sent in more 
troops. The Syrians and Lebanese took their arrival as a threat. 

Both the British and the American government had been startled. 
They had informed the French government they were afraid that 
fighting in these countries might spread throughout the Middle East 
and interfere with allied war efforts in the Far East. They had deplored 
the possible effect on the work of the Conference at San Francisco— by 
arousing Arab opposition and mistrust of the greater powers’ intentions 
to act in accord with the principles there being advoated. 

These reproofs had been without effect. Strikes and demonstrations had 
spread. Lives weie lost in Aleppo. The Syrian government ordered con- 
scription. French troops and native forces fell to fighting, and the French 
shelled Damascus and bombed other towns. 

The Syrian government had appealed to the British Ninth Army in 
the Middle East to arrange a truce. Churchill later remarked about his 
decision: “It was now impossible for us to stand aside.” 3 Before acting 
he told Stalin and Truman what he was about to do. He said he was 
convinced the fighting in Syria would cause trouble in the Middle East 
and harm communications to the Far East. Thus he was going to tell 
the British Commander-in-Chicf to interpose. He was seeking their ap- 
proval and support. When a favoring answer was received from Truman, 
or maybe even before, General Paget was ordered to act to stop the 
fighting. At the same time, to ward off de Gaulle’s wrath, Churchill 
informed him (on May 31) that: 

“In view of the grave situation which has arisen between your troops 
and the Levant States, and the severe fighting which has broken out, we 
'nave w’ftVi profound regret ordered the Commander-in-C'ftief of the 
Middle East to intervene to prevent the further effusion of blood in the 
interests of the security of the whole Middle East, which involves com- 

8 For de Cwlldi «*nion of Vu iotertiotu, itt tbU., page* 1S4-1I j. 

I >33] 


munications for the war against Japan. In order to avoid collision between 
British and French forces, we request you immediately to order the 
French troops to cease fire and to withdraw to their barracks. 

"Once Bring has ceased and order has been restored we shall be pre- 
pared to begin tripartite discussions in London.” 8 

The next day or two were anxious ones. British troops might fall to 
fighting either the French or the Levantines. With the thought of im- 
pressing the contestants, the British government asked that American 
naval vessels be sent to join those that Britain had in the area. Admiral 
Leahy has recounted that: "This request had come from Sir Andrew 
Cunningham. I had such confidence in this brilliant British commander 
that 1 had no hesitancy in advising that it be granted. The President 
directed me to inform the Navy that there was no opposition to giving 
Cunningham such assistance by American war ships as he might request 
and we might spare.” 1 

But hardly had the order gone out— an order that directed an American 
warship to proceed to Beirut, not to do any shooting but simply to show 
the American flag— when Grew advised the President against this open 
signal of our judgment. He thought it wiser not to impair the chance 
that we could, if need be, act as mediator between Britain and France. 
The President revoked the order. 

Churchill was doing his best to spare French pride and calm Syrian 
excitement. He instructed Paget to seek a peace “without rancour,” and 
asked the President of Syria not to make his task harder by anger and 
exaggeration. Whether or not as a direct response to these British initia- 
tives, de Gaulle gave way • He ordered his troops to cease fire, and 
later on when a British detachment entered the city, instructed them 
to leave Damascus. The President of Syria, in thanking Churchill, ex- 
plained that his message had been written under stress of bombardment 
and deep emotion-, that he wanted to cooperate with the British to re- 
store order and security in Syria. 

• Itil., pip !*«■ 

T Leahy, pip j7 j. 

•The French Ambassador in Washington liter told Crew that de Gaulle’t order that 
the French troop should ceaw 6 re and Bay in their positions had been tent from Pari* 
at 1 1 :jo p-m. on May jo, and that de Gaulle had not read Churchill', messap until the 
af-ernoon of the j IB. Churchill (Tnunfh mrU Trajtjjr, page j6 + ) corroborate* the time 
when h'.» me«ip got to de Gaulle, explaining that because of an error of transmission it 
waa read in the ! louse of Common, on the afternoon of the jin, about three quarter, of 
an hour before it reached de Caulle. 

De Caolle accuse, Eden and Churchill of deception, of knowing that he, de Caulle, had 
not received 1 Churchill', mewap before it waa read in the llouae of Commons, and. to a, 
noe to get o_cal of the order to eea*-6re, of having ip.ored requests of the French 
Ambassador for aa interview. Minotrn, ,ol. HI, papa 191-191. 

[ >34] 


Even as the American and British officials were relaxing in the belief 
that the way forward was clear, the French shook them up again. Before 
hearing of the truce, the Soviet government had tried to get into the act. 
On the ist of June the Soviet Embassy left a note at the State Depart- 
ment which observed that events in Syria and Lebanon did not match 
the spirit of the United Nations. Thus the Soviet government urged 
that steps be taken to end the fighting. In talking with Grew the Soviet 
Charge d’Affaires pointed out that this note implied that the Soviet 
government wished to start consultations regarding possible joint policy. 

In any case, the French government, endorsing the idea that the Soviet 
government had advanced, proposed a meeting of the five main powers 
(the fifth was China), to deal not only with the situation in Syria and 
Lebanon but with the whole Middle East. The presence of all was 
needed, averred the French Foreign Minister, because it was unlikely 
that a settlement could be reached by direct talks between the French 
and British alone. The French troubles in Syria and Lebanon were at- 
tributed to influences active everywhere in the Middle East, including 
Egypt, and therefore they could be ended only in connection with a gen- 
eral arrangement for the whole region. 

Was this proposal, the specialists in the Foreign Office and the State 
Department asked each other, merely a tactic in negotiation? Or was tt an 
attempt at reprisal? Or was it an effort to extort admission to the coming 
conference? It could be any or all of these.** 

Truman did not want to get drawn so deeply into this sea of trouble. 
So when asked at his press conference on June 7 whether he favored the 
French proposal he answered “No.” 

The French government was trying hard to get the coalition to grant 
its right, on the score of proximity and vital interest, to an equal share 
in the occupation and control of Germany and Austria and in the deter- 
mination of policies toward them. To those who had fought in the French 
resistance it seemed utterly wrong that their leader should not be there 
when these matters were discussed at the coming conference at Potsdam. 

France had already been promised a zone of occupation in Germany, to 
be formed out of parts of the American and British zones. But de Gaulle 
was aggrieved that the original agreement about zones had been made 
without consulting him or his colleagues. This had moved him to refuse, 

*“ De Gaulle candidly states that in his opinion “the way in which the Anglo-Saxons 
were behaving toward us justified us in throwing a stone in their diplomatic sea," and 
virtually admits that he was aiming to make use of the fact that Egypt, Palestine and 
Iraq wished to free themselves from British control. Mlmoires , vol. Ill, page 19S. 

I 135] 


for a while in April, to evacuate French forces that had taken Stuttgart, 
so that an American army unit, as agreed, might take over the city. 
When he was called to account, through Caffery, the American Ambassa- 
dor in Paris, de Gaulle had answered: “Such incidents could be avoided if 
the allies of France would only recognize that questions so closely touch- 
ing France as the occupation of German territory should be dis- 
cussed and derided with her.*** 

During the weeks before and after the German surrender, discussions 
went on with the French government in regard to the section of Germany 
to be allotted to France as a zone of occupation. France had sought large 
areas on both banks of the Rhine . 10 Once installed therein, it would get 
a better hearing for its wish that Germany be permanently shrunk back 
in the west. But dc Gaulle was opposed to combining the areas that France 
wanted to occupy into a single state, since this might become the center 
of a movement to unify Germany} moreover, he did not want the Soviet 
Union to share in the control of any domain touching France. He con- 
ceived of three separate arrangements. The area on the west bank of the 
Rhine from the Swiss frontier as far north as Cologne, and one or two 
bridgeheads to the opposite bank, might be put under French control 
without any restrictive international supervision} this was proposed be- 
cause this region had so often been the path of invasion. Second, the Saar 
might be linked to France in a way that would enable it to control the 
mines, but without annexation. And third, the Ruhr might be placed 
under an international regime . 11 

Grew had said he could not comment on these proposals since American 
ideas about the treatment of Germany in the west were still in flux. 
That was so. But he knew that the intent of both the American and 
the British governments was veering toward leaving Germany in the 

• Year ef Dtcitioxi, pages 1)8.39. 

10 The two general areas in mind, at far at can be learned from Bidault’a description 
to Grew on May 19. were in the Ruhr and in Rhineland-Wurttemberg. 

The Ruhr area, at customarily bounded, embraced pint o{ the Rhenish and Westphalian 
provinces of Pnmia, centering in the Ruhr river basin and extending west of the Rhine. 
Before the war this territory had about 5.) million population, and produced about 70 
percent of total German coal and iron and crude tteel. It contained other major industries 
as well — steel manufactures, machinery, electro-chemical products, synthetic oil and rub- 
ber plants, chemical* and textile*— and normally accounted for about one-third of Ger- 
many’s industrial exports Ruhr production was highly important for all of western and 
central Furope. 

The RhieeUnd-Warttembeig area apparently included, on the west bank of the Rhine, 
most of the Rhineland province, the Palatinate, and the Saar, and on the eastern bank 
part of IVBrttrmherg. These had In 1939 a population of about 6.j million. Possession 
of the west hank of the Rhine and bridgeheads across it would enable France to dominate 
the Ruhr strategically, and to command the gateways into central Germany. 

11 Grew memo of talk with Bidwit, May 19, TvrMfrti Era , voi. a, pages 

C 136I 



west intact. Moreover, the war record did not warrant belief that France 
would long be able, by itself, to keep control of any part of Germany. 
While the western allies were willing to turn over part of their zones to 
the French as temporary occupants, they did not want to have the pro- 
spective discussion about the longer future of Germany subjected to 
French desires. 

Also still unsettled at this time were the location and dimensions of the 
sector in Berlin to be turned over to France. The Soviet government had 
assented to such an assignment only on the understanding that it would 
be taken out of the American and British sectors. The Soviet members of 
the EAC had averred that this was fair since the Soviet sector had suffered 
the greatest destruction. Actually, the western allies were not sorry to 
partition their area of responsibility and have the French as company in 
Berlin. But the lines of subdivision had not yet been finally drawn and 

Then there was the question whether France was to have a place on 
the Reparation Commission. To this Stalin had been strongly opposed, 
even though he had agreed that France was to have a zone in Germany 
and a seat on the Control Council for Germany. Thus when Stettinius 
solicited Molotov’s views on this subject at San Frandsco, he was sur- 
prised to be told that the Soviet government would not object if Poland 
and Yugoslavia were granted the same privilege. Had they not fought 
Germany harder, suffered more, and won a better right to reparations? 
The American and British governments could not gainsay this pertinent 
observation. But they upheld their request for the admission of France, 
as a practical necessity; as master of a zone and member of the Control 
Council, France would in any case have to be consulted before a program 
of reparations could be carried out. When Hopkins tried to win over Stalin, 
in his second talk, on May 27, Stalin complained of the American pressure. 

In view of the fact, he said, that France had concluded a separate peace 
with Germany and opened its frontiers to the German armies, the Ameri- 
can wish to give France a place on the Reparation Commission equal to 
that of the Soviet Union looked like an attempt to humiliate the Russians. 
Hopkins soothingly said he did not think we would insist on it. 

During these same days the Foreign Office was urging the State De- 
partment to agree to hold up the departure for Moscow of the British 
and American representatives on the Reparation Commission, as a way 
of bringing Stalin around. Grew and Clayton told Roger Makins, Coun- 
selor of the British Embassy, that although the American government 

[ 137 ] 


also wished for French participation in the Commission, it did not believe, 
in view of the Yalta accord , 15 that the talks could be delayed indefinitely 
in an effort to induce Soviet assent. 

This repertory of troubles during the period of arrangement for the 
conference had confirmed the view in Washington and London that de 
Gaulle’s presence would hinder rather than help, even if Stalin could be 
persuaded to include him. It would make the task harder and confuse, 
if not destroy, the progress of discussion. So neither Truman nor Church- 
ill propelled de Gaulle’s request. Truman, moreover, may have been 
restrained by fear that if they did so Stalin might think that the three 
western democracies were forming a coalition against him at the con- 

When it was settled that de Gaulle was not to be asked, the President 
thought it well to abate his disappointment. 12 * He invited de Gaulle 
to come to Washington after the conference. De Gaulle professed to be 
pleased with this plume of recognition. But on the day that the President 
and the Secretary of State sailed for Potsdam the French Ambassador 
called at the White House once again to protest against the disbarment of 
the head of his government. With earnestness amounting to admonition 
he said he hoped that no final step would be taken on matters affecting 
France until the French government was consulted, especially about 
reparations and German territory. Truman could not promise that this 
wish would be heeded, but he sad he thought it would be. 

The time and place for the conference had been set. But the advance 
arrangements for the coming together of the three Heads of State lagged. 
They were entwined with the spray of loose ends of the accords about 
the entry of national forces into the allotted zones in Germany and Berlin. 
Before the arbiters of Europe could proceed to their rendezvous these 
had to be tied together. 

12 The Yalta Protocol on Reparation had provided that the Commission to be set up in 
Moscow “will consist of three representatives — one from the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics, one from the United Kingdom and one from the United States of Art’erica” 

JJ *But in his Mlmeirei (vol. Ill, pages 101-101) de Caulte writes that although 
irritated by the exclusion, realty he [“we”] thought it best not to be drawn into discus- 
sions that could, at this stage, only be superfluous. 


2i. Clearing the Way to the Potsdam 

Churchill had continued to urge that the meeting take place as soon as 
possible, for he thought western wishes would be respected only as long 
as western forces confronted the Russians in full strength. He was 
afraid, as explained to Truman on May 21, that Stalin might “play 
for time in order to remain all powerful in Europe when our forces have 
melted.” But even though Stalin told Hopkins that he too thought that 
the three should meet soon in view of the many urgent matters await- 
ing discussion, Truman clung to his wish to put it off until mid-July. 
And in the next flight of messages back and forth it was so set. 

The mind retreats before the complexities of the question whether if 
the Conference had met, say, a month earlier, the resultant accords would 
have served Western interests better and been more lasting. But a few 
of the many considerations that could haunt anyone bold and curious 
enough to engage in pursuit of an opinion may be noted. 

The American and British troops would have been still in their ad- 
vanced lines, not yet back within the limits of their zones. This would 
almost surely have meant that the start of the conference would have been 
quarrelsome. Stalin would probably have refused to discuss other issues 
about Germany or Poland until the realignment was effected. Church- 
ill would have striven to get him to do so before agreeing on a program 
of withdrawal. Would Truman have continued to think that the accord 
on zones had to be carried out in line with Soviet demands, or would he 
have changed his mind? Would the conference have reached a com- 
promise or broken up? 

Certainly it would have been over before the American government 
became so nearly sure, after the test in New Mexico, that it was the 
possessor of a weapon no enemy could withstand. Knowledge of this 
possibility ought to have strengthened Truman’s will in negotiation and 
served to bend the outcome of the conference toward our wishes. (Whether 
it actually brought any marked changes in either our proposals or denials 
at the conference will emerge in later pages.) 

In what ways, had the conference met sooner, might our strategy in 
the Pacific, our plans for Soviet entry into the war, our policies about 
surrender terms for Japan, have been different? 



The middle of July, then, it was to be. But where were the eminent 
ones to meet? Stalin had told Truman — through Hopkins — that he 
thought the most convenient spot would be Berlin} there would be 
adequate quarters in the suburbs of that ruined city. Truman had re- 
marked in talk with his intimates that since Stalin had caused Roosevelt 
and Churchill to come east to see him, it was Stalin’s turn to come west 
to see them} but he had agreed to travel to Berlin. That meant that he 
would be dwelling within the confines of the Soviet zone in Germany. 

It had been assumed by the Americans that by the time the conference 
met the respective national forces would have been directed into their 
assigned zones in Germany and their sectors in Berlin. It had also been 
anticipated that the former German capital would be under joint military 
control} that each of the three (or four) allies would have garrisons 
there} and that routes of access to it by road, rail, and air from the 
Western zones through the Soviet zone would be freely open and in 
use. But the talks about how and when each of these occurrences was to 
be effected turned out to be so long and delaying that they became en- 
tangled with arrangements for the conference. 

On May 28, the same day on which Truman had asked Hopkins to 
tell Stalin he would come to the Berlin area about July 15, the Presi- 
dent had brushed past Churchill’s objections to having Western forces 
retreat Into their zones before the conference. But Eisenhower and his 
staff were reporting that while the Germans, having been living off 
the fat of Europe, seemed in good physical condition, a program was 
needed at once for the whole of Germany to prevent hunger, disease, and 
disorder when winter ame. 1 So Winant had been instructed to propose 
to his colleagues on the EAC that the Commanders in-Chief of the four 
zones meet in Berlin not later than June 1, to sign and issue the declara- 
tion on the defeat of Germany and the assumption of supreme authority 
over the country* The further thought of the American government was 
that after doing this, the Commanders-in-Chief should at once con- 
stitute the Control Council and begin to deal with matters affecting 
Germany as a whole. The Soviet government fell in with this proposal. 
Eisenhower hastened to tell the British and French of Molotov’s assent. 
But he recommended that the meeting be postponed a few days, the 
better to get ready. 

1 A Sta** Department *orvey team, after ft field trip into Germany at Morphy 1 * and 
CUy’i re^ueit, « Emitted rimihr report*, which were well tommarued in a memo from 
Itonild C Stone to the Secretary of State on Jcne 7, 1945. 

* l rut ruction, Acting Secretary of State Crew to ti-S. Emhaay, London, foe Winant, 
May a«, *91 J. 

I 140) 


He hurried off (on June a) a request for instructions, for he anticipated, 
whether the President did or not, that “one of the questions which will be 
raised at the Berlin meeting [of Commanders-in-Chief] to sign and issue 
the declaration will be the date on which our forces will begin their with- 
drawal from the Russian zone. It is possible that Russians may establish 
such withdrawal as a corollary to the establishment of the Control 
Council on a functioning basis in Berlin and to turning over the several 
zones in Berlin to the forces to occupy these zones. Any cause for delay 
in the establishment of the Control Council due to delay in withdrawal 
would be attributed to us and might well develop strong public reaction. 
We have as yet no instructions covering such withdrawal. It is believed 
desirable that separate instructions be given to me, as American Com- 
mander, and to the British Commander prior to the Berlin meeting as 
to how we should reply to this question if it is raised.” 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, with Truman’s approval, told Eisenhower 
that re-deployment into zones should not be required before the Con- 
trol Council was functioning and sectors in Berlin taken over. If the 
Russians raised the point, he was to maintain it was one of the matters 
to be arranged by the Control Council. If asked about the timing of the 
actual movement of United States forces, he might state as his opinion 
that it was a matter of military convenience. 

The four Commanders-in-Chief met in Berlin on June 5. There they 
signed a Four-Power Declaration regarding the defeat of Germany and 
the assumption of supreme authority. 3 

Then General Zhukov, the Soviet Commander-in-Chief, as chairman 
of the session asked whether there were any proposals for the order of 
business. Eisenhower spoke up: “The installment of the Control Council 
in Berlin.” “No,” said Zhukov, “not until your troops will have been 
evacuated from the areas in the Soviet zone they now illegally occupy.” 
“Why not, then,” suggested Eisenhower, “talk about both questions?” 
“No,” said Zhukov, “I cannot discuss the first until the second is settled.” 
He said he could not do so until all forces in Germany had been homed 
within their zones, or at least until a date was fixed for that event. And 
also, he added, until the division of Berlin — including the unsettled 
boundaries of the French zone — was determined. 

This meant that the Control Council could not get started on its 

* On the same day the four allied governments made known in two published joint 
statements the main points of the accords they had reached about zones of occupation and 
the system for the control of Germany. 

E 141 ] 


work at once. There was to be no operative joint organization for the 
control of Germany during the following crucial weeks, in which the 
policies of each of the three occupants, in its own zone, were being set 
and connections with the defeated Germans were being formed. 

Eisenhower advised the Chiefs of Staff that he thought the American 
government would have to satisfy Soviet authorities in both these matters 
before they would join in the activation of the Control Council. 4 He 
threw out the thought that it might be well to consider variations in the 
planning for Germany. Perhaps the system of control might evolve 
into a joint arrangement between the three Western powers for their 
zones, plus a separate zone run by the Russians, or even into four separate 

Both the Supreme Commander and his political adviser, Robert D. 
Murphy, thought there was little to be gained and something to be lost 
by trying to keep our forces in the Russian zone of Germany any longer. 
Hopkins, having stopped off to see them near Frankfurt, informed the 
President and Marshall on June 8 that Eisenhower was convinced that 
uncertainty about the date for withdrawal of allied troops from the area 
assigned to the Russians was sure to be misunderstood by them, as well 
as at home. This would continue to stand in the way of the wish to get 
the Control Council to work and develop a unified program for the 
direction of German affairs. 

Hopkins suggested, however,— and in doing so he was probably leaning 
on Eisenhower’s (or Murphy’s or General Smith’s) opinions— that in 
connection with arrangements for withdrawal, we should insist on getting 
firm engagements from the Soviet government on several related actions. 
These were that Western troops be allowed to enter Berlin at the same 
timej and that unrestricted access to Berlin from Frankfurt and Bremen, 
by air, rail, and highway on agreed routes, be guaranteed. If, Hopkins 

4 Montgomery reached the nme conclusion u Eisenhower) *ee his hitmoirt, pages 
31* and J«o. 

* Morphy’s report to the State Department after this meeting in Berlin concluded: “For 
the Department's secret information, I believe that Cencral Eisenhower does not consider 
that the retention of our fortes in the Russian rone is wise or that it will be productive 
of advantage*. I believe that it is pretty obvious to all concerned that we really are desirous 
of removing our force* and that it i* only a question of time when we will inevitably do 
so. The Russians on the other hand may well be content temporarily to consolidate their 
present position in the territory they hold. In the interim, no progress would under such 
a circumstance be made in the organisation of the quadripartite control of Germany, to 
which we art committed. I do not believe there is ground here for new discouragement 
but on the contrary l find that definite progress has been snide, t am convinced that the 
Ruwians believe the Control Council necessary and that it is in their own interest to have 
U operate." 


or In accord -with his past performance to give up so easily, even when he 
was plainly wrong — as he was in this matter.” 8 

Truman accepted Churchill’s suggestion. The message to Stalin was 
sped on its way. Churchill let the Marshal know he was ready to give 
corresponding orders to Montgomery. 

Stalin took both Truman and Churchill aback by asking that the start 
of these several movements be postponed until the 1st of July. The 
reason he gave was that Zhukov was wanted in Moscow for a parade and 
would not get back to Berlin until the end of the month. He also re- 
marked, incidentally, that more time was needed to clear Berlin of land 
mines. Were these the real reasons, rather than a wish for a protracted 
chance to remove “war booty” from East Germany and Berlin, un- 
observed? He also thought the final sectioning of Austria could not be 
begun before Zhukov’s return to Berlin. And if the American and British 
governments wanted the relocation to take place in the two countries at 
the same time, they both had better hasten to complete the accords with 
the Soviet government about zones in Austria (including the zone in 
which French troops were to be) and sectors in Vienna. Stalin, it was 
plain, was going to strike a hard bargain for admission into Vienna. 

Grouped orders were issued by the Combined Chiefs to Eisenhower 
and Montgomery to get ready to move troops under their command out 
of the Soviet zone in Germany, and to Alexander to move the troops 
under his command into the British zone in Austria. The shifts were to 
start on July I. 

The program for Germany was carried through roughly in accord 
with this timetable. All the American and British troops were back in 
their zones, and their garrisons were in their sectors of Berlin, by the 
4th of July. But their entry into their zones in Austria was delayed. 

The day after Truman sent Stalin his proposals for concurrent move- 
ments of national forces in Germany and Austria, Eisenhower asked 
General Deane to secure permission to send a large advance party to 
Berlin to consult with Zhukov’s deputies. It would have two assign- 
ments: to talk over plans for living and working arrangements for the 
American delegation during the conference; and to prepare for the 
entry of American troops into Berlin, and Cor their accommodations, se- 
curity, signals, and supplies. The British Mission presented a similar 
request. Consistently the Soviet High Command answered that it was 

* pace ;Si. 

t '44 ] 


in Berlin. They had not then foreseen that the western allies would also 
have to send in food, coal, and raw materials to sustain the German 
civilians in the city. So they had passed up Winant’s offer to insert pro- 
visions about access into the accord negotiated in the EAC about zones. 
They judged that it would be wiser to wait until they knew just what 
roads and railways would be usable at the end of the war, and just how 
large the movement back and forth would be. With this surer knowledge, 
the military commander could arrange, after Berlin was captured, for 
use of the routes required for the exercise of occupation. 

Truman, as has been told, included in the program of concurrent 
transfer of forces in Germany and Austria, which he proposed to Stalin on 
June 14, a request for “provision of free access for United States forces 
by air, road and rail to Berlin from Frankfurt and Bremen.” 11 Churchill 
made a similar reference to free ways from the British zone. Stalin, on 
proposing postponement until July, had not made reference to these 
stipulations — allowing the belief to thrive that the right of access was 
taken for granted. 

In the major directive that Marshall sent Eisenhower on June 25, 
regarding the movement of American and British troops into their zones 
in Germany and Austria and their segments of Berlin, he thought it 
best not to give definite orders about transit rights to these two cities: 
“It will be noted that the proposed . . . directive . . . contains no 
action to obtain transit rights to Berlin and Vienna on a combined basis. 
In accordance with the President's message to Stalin [of June 14th] 

. . . these should be arranged with Russian commanders concerned 
simultaneously with arrangements for other adjustments, by Eisenhower 
for Berlin and Clark for Vienna. It is assumed that appropriate Russian 
commanders have been instructed accordingly . . . and it is desired that 
[General] Deane confirm this with the Soviet staff.” 13 

The Soviet High Command had passed Deane’s inquiry on to their 
political mentors. On this same day, June 25, Vishinsky told Harriman, 
and two days later Antonov told Deane, that Zhukov had been authorized 
to discuss the subject of access with General Clay (Eisenhower’s Deputy 
in Berlin) and General Weeks (for Britain) . Deane thought there would 

10 Gene nl Clay, in his book Decision in Germany, page tji attributed the default to 
Winant. But Philip Mostly, Winant’s deputy on the EAC, in an article in Foreign Affair) 
lor July 1930, give* a sjstematic account of discussion! on the question within the American 
goserament, this indicates dial the decision not to try to settle the matter in the EAC 
■uas made by the American military authorities in the face of the Wuiaut-Mosely offer to 
take it in hand. 

11 StaVm Correspondence, vol. a, page a*j. 

13 Year of Decisions, page jo6. 


be little trouble in working out adequate arrangements. The conference 
with Marshal Zhukov was set for the 29th. 

On the day before, Eisenhower, through Air Marshal Tedder, sent 
on to American military headquarters in Berlin a summary of American- 
British wishes, with the request that it be delivered to Zhukov at once. 
Among its main features were: first, the immediate and unrestricted right 
to use several designated automobile roads from the west to the Ameri- 
can and British sectors of Berlin, including the right to repair and con- 
struct the surfaces and bridges; second, a similar right to use several 
designated rail lines, including the maintenance of rights of way, the 
control of the rolling stock operated by the Americans and British, and 
authority to introduce into the Russian zone American- and British- 
trained rail crews and American- and British-supervised German rail- 
road civilians; third, a similar right to unrestricted air travel, including 
fighter escort, between the British and American zones of occupation and 
Staaken, Tempelhof, and Gatow airfields in the Berlin area, with ex- 
clusive use and occupancy of the first two; fourth, an agreement that all 
road, rail, and air traffic on authorized rights of way be free from border 
search or control by customs or military guards. In short, American and 
British authorities wanted the right to have their contingents in Germany, 
and whatever equipment and supplies they might need to carry out the 
tasks of occupation, traverse the eastern zone to and from Berlin in 
whatever form of transport was most convenient, by many converging 
routes, and almost at will. 

The Russians, they learned the next day, would grant much less than 
was wanted, and even less than was needed. Furthermore they regarded 
this allowance as a privilege rather than a right. Zhukov faced down Clay 
and Weeks with a summary of the requests that had been made of him: 
for unrestricted use of two highways, three railway lines, and two broad 
airlanes. He said all these would traverse Russian lines of communication 
and it would be hard to protect them. 

In his opinion one highway and one railway would be adequate for 
the movement and supply of the small garrisons that the United States 
and Great Britain planned to have in Berlin — about 50,000 men. This 
was their own estimate; the coming of families to keep them company 
was not then contemplated. He thought the one road and the one rail- 
way that went from Berlin through Magdeburg would be most con- 
venient for both the American and the British forces, since they were 
centrally located; and would also be the most economical, since the two 
converged at Magdeburg. But, he continued, if the Americans and British 

1 147] 


did not like this route, “it can be changed.” Clay explained the need for 
several roads, since the American occupation zone was toward the south- 
west of Germany but its port would be Bremen in the northwest and its 
administrative center would be in Berlin. Zhukov, however, was under 
orders that he could not expand. 

So Clay and Weeks accepted the use of the single railway via Magde- 
burg (to Helmstedt, on the border between East and West Germany), 
on the understanding that the gauge would not be changed without 
advance notice and that the bridge at Magdeburg would be rebuilt with 
American materials and Russian engines. They also decided to accept for 
joint U.S.-British use the one autobahn running from Hanover through 
Magdeburg to Berlin. Clay in so doing went against the advice of 
General Parks, the head of the American advance party, to stand fast for 
the right to use also the more direct southern route from Berlin to Frank- 
furt via Halle. But he reserved the chance to reopen the question in the 
Control Council if in use this one road turned out to be inadequate. 
Zhukov said of course — all the arrangements made by them might be 

Clay and Weeks also thought that for the time being it was best not 
to reject the scanty offer of one main airlane from Berlin to Magdeburg, 
with one branch southwest from Magdeburg to Frankfurt, and another 
westward to Hanover, though this confined flight route did not satisfy 
the Americans or the British. In the following November, it is in point 
to record, they managed to get the approval of their Soviet colleague on 
the Control Council for a paper authorizing the use of three twenty-mile 
air corridors between West Germany and Berlin, along which flights 
could proceed without advance notice. 1 * 

As for airfields in the Berlin area, allied wishes were well met. The 
Americans were to have the use and control of Tempelhof field. During 
the conference the Americans and British together were to have full use 
of the Gatow airdrome (which Zhukov called the best), and thereafter 
it was to be assigned to the British, being in their sector according to the 
Soviet map. When Weeks said that the British map did not so locate it, 
and that he had counted on having the use of the Staaken airfield, 

” This was one of several pipers approved by the Control Council defining the general 
arrangements that hid been discussed in the meeting of the commanders on June 19. The 
three airlanes were Hzmburg-Bremen-Berlin, Hanoi er-Berlin, and Franhfurt-Berlm. An 
account of the way in which this agreement was reached and carried into practice is given 
in the informative study by W. Phillips Davison, The Berlin Blockade, pages 33-37. 
See also “Department Press Release on Legal Aspects of the Berlin Situation, December 
zo, 19$*,” in Appendix to U.S. Dept, of State, Tht Soviet Note on Berlin; An Analysu. 

[I 4 8] 

Zhukov agreed that this might be considered later, either by their govern- 
ments or in the Control Council. 

It was clearly understood that the American and British right to 
use these airlanes and airfields was to be unrestricted; they were to make 
their own regulations, and except for an obligation to give advance notice 
of their flights, were not to be subject to any formalities. A rather 
jumbled American memo of the conference, from which some of these 
details arc derived, leaves a slight whiff of uncertainty as to whether the 
accord on the conditions that would govern use of the roads and rail- 
ways was wholly clear. The Americans certainly understood that all allied 
military traffic on roads and railways would be free from border search 
or control by customs or military authorities, but was to conform to 
Russian police control in the normal way. 1 ' 

These provisional delineations of the routes and conditions of access 
to Berlin were not inscribed in any official agreement. One probable reason 
is that Clay and Weeks thought if they were, it might be harder to obtain 
amplifications of them later. Another is that an attempt to write them 
out with completeness might have taken many sessions, many days; and 
the movement into zones and into Berlin was to start in two days. Hav- 
ing waited that long, over-long, to secure a reliable definition of the 
rights of access, the western allies now had no choice but to trust in the 
accommodating spirit of the commanders who together were to control 
Germany and Berlin. 

Meanwhile negotiations in the EAC about the final demarcation of 
the four zones of occupation in Austria had been dragging along. In the 
outcome the Soviet realm was stretched to include the part of upper 
Austria north of the Danube, but reduced a little elsewhere; it enveloped 
Vienna and bordered on Czechoslovakia and Hungary. The American 

14 This memo, which records in a hasty and rather disconnected way the course of 
discussion at the meeting on June ij, was unsigned but was manifestly written by one of 
the American participants or listeners. For whatever reason, it was not forwarded to the 
State Department until three years later, with a brief note of transmission by Murphy. 

However, Murphy himself had sent in to the State Department a report iiua- 
marizing the agreements reached at the conference the very neat day, June jo, 
19*5. In this he stated that the Russians agreed that "with respect to roads, Auto- 
bahn Hanau-Magdeburg-Berlin will be used by U.S. and British troops without restric- 

siss5*’ , \aad.Vs<i. sevyci-. Vi 5S.& Vvvc.vf'ict "to vvd' Vj QS. xA Vcaniaii 

gauge line Greine-Gottingcn-Belra and unrestricted use by the allies of line Goslar- 
Magdeburg-Berlin.” He further said: “It was agreed that all road, rail and air traffic on 
authorized routes would be free from border search or control by customs or military au- 
thorities} but traffic to conform to Russian police control in the normal way.” Potsdam 
Papers, Document n*. 

[ 149] 


realm was in the province of Salzburg and the section of upper Austria 
south of the Danube} this area adjoined the American zone in Germany. 
The British realm covered most of Carinthia and the province of Styria 
in the south, running along the frontiers of Italy and Yugoslavia. The 
French area was in the Tyrol and Vorarlberg, running along the northern 
edges of Italy and Switzerland, and connecting with their zone in Ger- 
many. All in all, it was a sensible division. 15 But before taking its roving 
armies out of sections of the British and American zones, the Soviet govern- 
ment insisted not only on formal completion and ratification of the 
accords about zones and control in Austria, but also on final full agree- 
ment on sectors in Vienna. 

It was understood that the city, though divided into national parts, 
should be treated as a unit under a four-power Council, as was Berlin. 
But a difference of desire persisted about where the limits of the city 
were to be. This was reduced when all agreed that the center of the 
city (Innere Stadt) should be common ground. Stubbornly the Western 
governments maintained that each of the four occupants of Vienna ought 
to have unrestricted use and control of its own airdrome, and equally 
stubbornly the Soviet government maintained that one airdrome ought 
to be enough to serve them all. 

The first scheduled date (July i) for simultaneous movements went 
by. The Russian High Command maintained its refusal to allow Western 
troops to take over the whole of their zones or enter Vienna. The British 
member on the EAC threatened to end all talks about Austria unless 
the Soviet authorities were more considerate. Thereupon the Russians 
offered a compromise: one airfield (Tulin) for the American forces, one 
(Schwechat) for the joint use of the British and French forces. This 
was accepted. The accords were signed ad referendum in London on 
July 9, while the President and the Secretary of State were on the way 
to Potsdam. Possibly this was the reason for the delay in recording official 
American approval. So it came about that Churchill and Truman were 
greeted on their arrival in Germany by news that their troops were sdll 
being debarred from Vienna. It was a sharp lesson in Soviet intransigence. 

It had been left to the Soviet authorities to select the exact locale for 
the conference. Since the city of Berlin was in ruins they chose the district 
of Babclsburg, close to Potsdam and some sixty kilometers southwest of 
Berlin. Here each delegation would have its own living area and offices. 

11 The text of the final agreement on rones in Austria may be found in U.S- Tnalut 
aiU othtr InUrruuianA AcU, Setiea No. i«oo, 61 Statute! (j) 1679. 

[ 150 ] 

The meetings would be held in the former palace of the Crown Prince 
in Potsdam. The walls of the conference room were decorated with a 
paper pattern of flowers and pheasants. This the Soviet hosts liked. But in 
the dining room there hung a painting in which a dark cloud loomed over 
a ship. That they deemed ominous. So where the cloud had been, their 
official decorators painted in a shining star. The Chief of the Soviet 
press section in Potsdam explained to the reporters that this was symbolic 
of Pussi an- American unity, since the star appeared in the heraldry of 
both nations. 1 * 

The letters ar.d memoirs of some of the main Western figures at the 
conference leave the impression that the selection of this location within 
the Soviet zone may have colored their future attitude toward the Soviet 
Union. They were oppressed by the rigid and heavy-handed police 
methods by which the Russians ruled the area. They were not happy 
in the air they breathed. They were annoyed at having to satisfy Soviet 
guards and patrols whenever they left their assigned residential areas. 
This was their first personal brush with the manners and practices of 
the Soviet regime. How different these were from their own they ap- 
preciated more keenly when they left Potsdam than they had when 
they arrived. 

lt Nm> York T iiruf, July \ 6 , 1945. 

[ 15 *] 


Terminal: The Conference at Potsdam 

22. Preparatory Work and Attitudes 

Even before the date of the conference was fixed, the American and 
British officials had been studying the topics that ought to be, or would 
be, discussed. 

On May 29 the British government had turned over to the State 
Department the syllabus it had in mind- In a measure this bore out 
what Churchill had said to Truman in explanation of his wish for an 
early meeting: that in reality nothing had yet been settled. But some of 
the subjects of controversy on the British list were being determined 
either by agreement or by some irreversible development. 

On June X4, when Grew sent to the President the views of the 
State Department on the British proposals, he commented: “While in 
general the subject matter covered by Mr. Churchill is satisfactory and 
deals with a number of problems requiring urgent clarification, the form 
of presentation, I feel, is unfortunate. Mr. Churchill’s list is so drawn 
as to give the appearance largely of a bill of complaints against the 
Soviet government, which hardly seems the proper approach to the 
forthcoming meeting. Presumably he would wish to reword his list of 
subjects prior to any communication of it to Marshal Stalin.” 1 

Parallel work in the American government had been retarded be- 
cause Secretary of State Stetrinius was off in San Francisco. Also, the 
comment of the Joint Chiefs had to be solicited on many subjects. But 
on June 30 Acting Secretary of State Grew sent to the President a draft 
of a usable American statement on the agenda for the conference, with 
copies for Leahy and Byrnes. In his letter of transmittal he wrote: 
“Since there is at the present moment no Secretary of State it has been 
impossible to obtain for the attached memo and documents the clear- 
ance I should have desired, but in view of your request and the short- 
ness of time remaining before the meeting I thought it best to submit 
the material without delay.” 

Three significant differences can be discerned between the nature 
and scope of American official ideas about the main objects of Interest 
and those of the British. The Americans assigned prime importance 
to settling on the ways and means for carrying forward preliminary 
talks about the peace settlements. The British seemed to be willing to 
let arrangements to this end emerge as they would from discussions 
about current situations. The Americans wished to avoid decisions on 
territorial questions at the conference; they thought it would be better, 

1 Potsdam Paper*, Document 15*. 


whenever it was possible, to remand issues of this sort to the Council 
of Foreign Ministers that was to be formed, or to leave them for the 
peace conference. The British were sure that they could not and would 
not wait. The Americans anticipated that attention would be given 
to a program for defeated Japan. The British prospectus did not include 
any Far Eastern topics— except those having to do with the distribu- 
tion of military tasks and commands— leaving them for the Americans 
to bring forward. Neither mentioned the atomic bomb, which was to 
explode as the conference was assembling. 

After active comment on each other’s proposals, and revisions by 
each, the American and British governments, by July u, separately 
let the Soviet government know what topics they wished to discuss. 
The President and the Prime Minister made it dear that their lists 
were not comprehensive or exclusive. Each said he would be ready 
to talk about any other questions that the Soviet conferees might wish 
to raise. 

The Soviet government did not object to any item on the American 
or British programs for business, and it did not submit a corresponding 
program. Stalin waited until he arrived in Potsdam to reveal what other 
matters he wanted to present. 

Such were the advance signs of the differing trends of interest and 
purpose that led the three Heads of Government to Potsdam. The 
British government sought first of all to make sure that the disquieting 
situations in and around Europe would be discussed. The American 
government realized that this was the realm of difficulty that made the 
convocation of the conference necessary at the time, but it was intent 
on using this good chance to further joint policies for the conduct of the 
war in the Far East and to foster the preparation of peace settlements. 
The Soviet government centered on a variety of definite and immediate 

Informed observers of the situation — two months after the coalition 
triumph — did not have to be in on these preliminary exchanges of 
agenda to know that there would be a complex contest at the conference. 
The Economist of July 14 described the actuality well: “The agenda 
that awaits [the three Heads of State] is a stiffer proposition than that 
for either of their previous meetings. Then, their united purpose in the 
military field served to gloss over the deviations of view. Now every 
item conceals a sore point for someone.” 

Perhaps this was why none of the three Heads of Government looked 
forward to the meeting with a buoyant sense of likely achievement. 

[ Jjfi] 

Each seemed more drilled in knowledge of the ways in which the 
others would be troublesome than of the ways in which they might be 

Lord Halifax, the British Ambassador in Washington, showed shrewd 
perception in his forecast of the American line at the conference, sent to 
Churchill on July 7: "I am sure you will find Truman most anxious to 
work with us, and justly alive to the long-range implications as well 
as the short-term difficulties of the derisions we have to make, I judge 
that American tactics with the Russians will be to display at the outset 
confidence in Russian willingness to co-operate. I should also expect the 
Americans in dealing with us to be more responsive to arguments based 
upon the danger of economic chaos in European countries than to tho 
balder pleas about the risks o f extreme Left Governments or of the spread 
of Communism. They showed some signs of nervousness in my portrayal 
of Europe (whatever the facts) as the scene of a clash of ideas in which 
the Soviet and Western influences arc likely to be hostile and conflicting. 
At the back of their minds there are still lingering suspicions that we 
want to back Right Wing Governments or monarchies for their own 
sake. This does not in the least mean that they will be unwilling to 
stand up with us against the Russians when necessary. But they arc likely 
to pick their occasion with care, and are half expecting to play, or at 
any rate to represent themselves as playing, a moderating role between 
ourselves and the Russians.” 1 

These impressions would have been confirmed if Halifax could have 
read the recommendations in the Briefing Book paper submitted by the 
State Department in July for the use of the President as an analysis of 
British policies. This began with an excerpt from a letter the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff had sent as long ago as May 1 6, 1944, to the Secretary of 
State: “The greatest likelihood of eventual conflict between Britain and 
Russia would seem to grow out of either nation initiating attempts to 
build up its strength, by seeking to attach to herself parts of Europe to 
the disadvantage and possible danger of her potential adversary. Having 
regard to the inherent suspicions of the Russians, to present Russia with 
any agreement on such matters as between the British and ourselves, 
prior to consultation with Russia, might well result in starting a train 
of events that would lead eventually in [to] the situation we most wash 
to avoid.” 3 

This Briefing Book paper then continued: “However, it must be 

* Triutnfh and Tra$edy,\ ige« Sn-ii, ChorchiU’t italics, 

* The full text of tbii letter J$ in D.S, Dept, of State, The Conferences at Malta and 
Yalta, pager toS-ot. 

C *57 2 

recognized that the Russians have already gone far to establish an ef- 
fective sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. Our definitive position 
with respect to a British sphere in Western Europe must await further 
clarification of the Soviet Union’s intentions. In the meanwhile our 
policies should be to discourage the development of rival spheres of 
influence, both Russian and British. . . . We should direct our best 
efforts towards smoothing out points of friction between Great Britain 
and Russia and fostering the tripartite collaboration upon which lasting 
peace depends .” 1 

It was not that the American officials were ignorant of or indifferent 
to Soviet attempts to extend their control and influence. As summarized 
in another segment of this same Briefing Book paper: “The Russians 
have taken steps to solidify their control over Eastern Europe. They 
have concluded bilateral treaties of alliance with the Lublin Poles (in 
spite of our objections) and with the governments of Yugoslavia and 
Czechoslovakia. They have taken unilateral action with respect to the 
formation of the Austrian Government and have acted independently in 
Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary without consultation with the Amer- 
ican and British representatives in those countries. An exclusive economic 
agreement has been concluded with Rumania which makes possible 
extensive Soviet Control over Rumanian industry and which may vir- 
tually cut off Rumanian trade with the rest of the world. The Russians 
have rejected British-American proposals that discussions should take 
place in regard to the political situation in Rumania and elections in 
Bulgaria. These actions are not in accordance with the Crimea Declara- 
tion on Liberated Europe whereby the Big Three agreed to concert 
their policies in assisting the liberated peoples to solve their pressing 
political and economic problems by democratic means. Eastern Europe 
is, in fact, a Soviet sphere of influence.” 

Other Briefing Book papers contain affirmations of the opinion that 
the dissolution of the Communist International (Comintern) was not 
genuine; that in reality none of its former sections had ceased to exist 
or to be active; that foreign members of Communist parties who had 
been connected with the Comintern were emerging as leading political 
figures in their own countries; that they were all obedient and loyal to 
the Soviet government; that they were set in their militant line; and 
that they were doing their utmost to take advantage of the state of 
Europe at the end of the devastating war to exploit the suffering for 
their own purposes. Yet the desire for accord persisted. 

The British officials regretted the refusal of the Americans to enter 

4 Poadim Papui, Document 114. 


into an advance concert on joint policies. Most of them shared Churchill’s 
belief that the ultimate Soviet intentions were ominous, and that any 
conciliatory words or acts of the Kremlin were ruses. The Soviet rulers 
were convinced that the leading purpose of the British government 
was to surround the Soviet Union with unfriendly states in order to 
confine it, and cheat It of its fair reward for victory. While they did not 
attribute the same fixed purpose to the American government, they 
thought there was little chance that in direct contest over any issue in 
this sphere the American government would range itself against Britain. 
They were counting on Russian power to grasp and hold what it most 
wanted, rather than on the chance of winning willing assent. 

President Truman set off for Potsdam with sober will rather than 
with the elated sense of a great occasion with which Roosevelt had gone 
to Teheran and Yalta. His mood on leaving the White House was re- 
flected in two of his letters to his mother, on July 3: “I am getting 
ready to go and see Stalin and Churchill, and it is a chore. I have to 
take my tuxedo, tails . . . preacher coat, high hat, low hat, and hard 
hat, as well as sundry other things. . . . Wish I didn’t have to go, 
but I do and it can’t be stopped now.” And on July 12, from shipboard 
on his way to Potsdam: “I wish this trip was over. 1 hate it. But it 
has to be done.” 5 

Churchill was glum as he left Downing Street, worried about the 
frustrations and refusals he might face, as well as a little unsure of the 
outcome of the voting in Britain. In his gloomier moods and stances, he 
predicted that Stalin would table “several important things . . . during 
[the] course of the Conference and it should not be excluded that even a 
fait accompli or two might be presented.” 8 But not even this dark vista 
entirely subdued his enjoyment in the activities of governing and dis- 
posing of great matters. 

Stalin, though not feeling well, looked forward to the meeting with 
calm assurance. The struggle in Europe was won; the acquisitions he 
wanted most for the Soviet Union were within his grasp; and he could 
feel fairly sure of getting almost all he wanted in the Far East, in one 
way or another. 

CfeisdiLl vuL Sta'iTi west. {uri&K vtith the pst e>€ 

the situations that were going to be considered at the conference. But 
Truman had had to acquaint himself with them in quick flashes. Sep- 

8 Ytttr of Dtciiiant, pa-es jji and jjf. 

•Potsdam Papers. Document nj. 

1 159 ] 

recognized that the Russians have already gone far to establish an ef- 
fective sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. Our definitive position 
with respect to a British sphere in Western Europe must await further 
clarification of the Soviet Union’s intentions. In the meanwhile our 
policies should be to discourage the development of rival spheres of 
influence, both Russian and British. . . . We should direct our best 
efforts towards smoothing out points of friction between Great Britain 
and Russia and fostering the tripartite collaboration upon which lasting 
peace depends.”* 

It was not that the American officials were ignorant of or indifferent 
to Soviet attempts to extend their control and influence. As summarized 
in another segment of this same Briefing Book paper: “The Russians 
have taken steps to solidify their control over Eastern Europe. They 
have concluded bilateral treaties of alliance with the Lublin Poles (in 
spite of our objections) and with the governments of Yugoslavia and 
Czechoslovakia. They have taken unilateral action with respect to the 
formation of the Austrian Government and have acted independently in 
Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary without consultation with the Amer- 
ican and British representatives in those countries. An exclusive economic 
agreement has been concluded with Rumania which makes possible 
extensive Soviet Control over Rumanian industry and which may vir- 
tually cut off Rumanian trade with the rest of the world. The Russians 
have rejected British-American proposals that discussions should take 
place in regard to the political situation in Rumania and elections in 
Bulgaria. These actions are not in accordance with the Crimea Declara- 
tion on Liberated Europe whereby the Big Three agreed to concert 
their policies in assisting the liberated peoples to solve their pressing 
political and economic problems by democratic means. Eastern Europe 
is, in fact, a Soviet sphere of influence.” 

Other Briefing Book papers contain affirmations of the opinion that 
the dissolution of the Communist International (Comintern) was not 
genuine i that in reality none of its former sections had ceased to exist 
or to be active j that foreign members of Communist parties who had 
been connected with the Comintern were emerging as leading political 
figures in their own countries; that they were all obedient and loyal to 
the Soviet government; that they were set in their militant line; and 
that they were doing their utmost to take advantage of the state of 
Europe at the end of the devastating war to exploit the suffering for 
their own purposes. Yet the desire for accord persisted. 

The British officials regretted the refusal of the Americans to enter 

* Toudun Piptn, Document *14. 


into an advance concert on joint policies. Most of them shared Churchill’s 
belief that the ultimate Soviet intentions were ominous, and that any 
conciliatory words or acts of the Kremlin were ruses. The Soviet rulers 
were convinced that the leading purpose of the British government 
was to surround the Sonet Union with unfriendly states in order to 
confine it, and cheat it of its fair reward for victory. While they did not 
attribute the same fixed purpose to the American government, they 
thought there was little chance that in direct contest over any issue in 
this sphere the American government would range itself against Britain. 
They were counting on Russian power to grasp and hold what it most 
wanted, rather than on the chance of winning willing assent. 

President Truman set off for Potsdam with sober will rather than 
with the elated sense of a great occasion with which Roosevelt had gone 
to Teheran and Yalta. His mood on leaving the White House was re- 
flected in two of his letters to his mother, on July 3: “I am getting 
ready to go and see Stalin and Churchill, and it is a chore. I have to 
take my tuxedo, tails . . . preacher coat, high hat, low hat, and hard 
hat, as well as sundry other things. . . . Wish I didn’t have to go, 
but I do and it can’t be stopped now.” And on July 12, from shipboard 
on his way to Potsdam: “I wish this trip was over. I hate it. But it 
has to be done.” 4 

Churchill was glum as he left Downing Street, worried about the 
frustrations and refusals he might face, as well as a little unsure of the 
outcome of the voting in Britain. In his gloomier moods and stances, he 
predicted that Stalin would table “several important things . . . during 
[the] course of the Conference and it should not be excluded that even a 
fait accompli or two might be presented.”" But not even this dark vista 
entirely subdued his enjoyment in the activities of governing and dis- 
posing of great matters. 

Stalin, though not feeling well, looked forward to the meeting with 
calm assurance. The struggle in Europe was won 5 the acquisitions he 
wanted most for the Soviet Union were within his grasp; and he could 
feel fairly sure of getting almost all he wanted in the Far East, in one 
way or another. 

Churchill and Stalin were familiar with the past developments of 
the situations that were going to be considered at the conference. But 
Truman had had to acquaint himself with them in quick flashes. Sep- 

* Year of Dectiioni, paget jji and jj*. 

* Foudam Paper*, Document jij. 

[ *59 3 

arate and compact studies on all of them had been prepared for his use. 
Each summarized the history of the problem, analyzed it as it appeared 
in American official vision, and outlined recommendations. Much of the 
time while these studies were being worked on, he was away from Wash- 
ington. They were waiting for him when he entered his cabin on ship- 
board, “a briefcase all filled up with information on past conferences 
and suggestions on what I’m to do and say .” 7 The voyage was his first 
sustained chance to study them. This he used in his own fashion. It was 
not the way of a patient student of pondering mind, but rather the way 
of a person who habitually sought simple versions from which he could 
arrive at quick derisions. The great and grave chore did not prevent 
him from spending much time in informal talk with his friends and with 
the newspapermen who were on board, or interfere with his enjoyment 
of dinner concerts and movies and card games. All in all, as he wrote 
to his family (on the izth): “the trip has been most pleasant and rest- 
ful.”® But the next day, as the ship neared Europe, he devoted to shap- 
ing up with Byrnes and Leahy a final American version of an agenda 
for the conference, and to poring over a written summary brief on 
various questions that would arise. 

The Secretary of State, Byrnes, had taken office only a few days be- 
fore sailing. Of some of the subjects that were to require the utmost 
exertion of thought and persuasion at the conference he already knew 
much. Of others he knew little. But in prolonged sessions with his staff 
each day on the way over he did his conscientious utmost to prepare 

The American delegation to the conference was conventionally com- 
posed. Harry Hopkins, the man who had worked most intimately with 
Roosevelt at Cairo, Teheran, and Yalta, stayed home. No longer could 
his will conquer his sick body. '‘I had to stop this running around the 
earth at some time,” he explained to Winant, “and this seemed as good 
a time as I could possibly find. While I am feeling better, I have a 
long way to go to be in the land of shape I want to be in and I don’t 
want to have to get started all over again.” Thus he was spared the 
experience of witnessing for himself with what few scruples Stalin in- 
fringed the avowals made to him only a few weeks before. 

The President had wanted to take along Stettinius, the departing 
Secretary of State. But he was kept in Washington because Congress 

7 Letter to bis mother and sister Mary, written July j. Year of Decisions pa^e jji. 

* Letter to hi* mother aud sister Mary, written on shipboard July ,a, Year of Decisions, 

U6 o] 

would be holding hearings to decide whether or not the American 
government should sign the charter for the United Nations. 

In contrast to the American groups that went to Teheran and Yalta, 
most of the civilian members of the delegation to Potsdam were career 
officers of the State Department and the Foreign Service. In addition, 
Byrnes took along two persons in whom he reposed great trust, Ben- 
jamin Cohen and Donald Russell, the first of whom became his most 
usual official scribe. Davies, the most soothing interpreter of Soviet 
actions, was next to the President at the round table, but was only a 
whispering commentator. That Harriman had to propose himself was 
indicative of the desire of both the President and the Secretary of State 
to leave themselves free to make up their own minds about the spirit in 
which to deal with the Russians. The Ambassador in Moscow was given 
little to do after arrival. Stimson, the Secretary of War, arranged to 
be close by on momentous special business. 

Except that no Davies was on its roster, the British delegation came 
from similar circles of officialdom. But Churchill had invited Attlee, 
the head of the Labour Party and deputy head of the War Cabinet, to 
come with him as friend and counselor, and to help “on all the subjects 
on which we have so long agreed."* After consulting his principal col- 
leagues in the House of Commons, Attlee had accepted. Like Churchill, 
he saw advantage in preserving and showing to the world the unity on 
foreign affairs that had been maintained during the war, and in giving 
assurance that if the British elections should put him in office, the con- 
tinuity of British policy would not be broken. 

Of the Soviet group all that need be said is that Stalin was there, and 
Molotov, always present, “like the north star." 

Churchill had looked in the lexicon for a code name to identify the 
conference. He chose Terminal. This he conceived to be appropriate 
for several reasons. Would not the conference mark the end of the 
perilous journey on which Britain had started in 1939? Would its de- 
cisions not complete the transition from war to peace in Europe? Both 
Truman and Stalin thought the name well suited to the historical 
circumstance. In retrospect, however, it has taken on a connotation 
other than the one the Prime Minister had in mind. The conference 
did not lead to a restful destination. It turned out, rather, to mark the 
end of the line of close collaboration by which the coalition had achieved 

* Potsdam Papers, Document 7J. 


The British Chiefs of Staff had for some time past been seeking a 
full and formal meeting with the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. 
The Americans had not been eager to be drawn into arguments about 
military dispositions in Europe, and had not been ready to discuss military 
plans and operations in the Pacific. But as soon as the conference of 
Heads of Government was set for mid-July, it was hailed as a convenient 
and timely occasion for the convocation of the two top groups of military 
officials. By then the Joint Chiefs expected to have their strategy in the 
Pacific fixed, and their ideas about theaters of command and coordinated 
operations in order. 

The British Chiefs had proposed, as had Churchill to Truman, that 
their American colleagues stop off in London for three or four days 
before going on to Potsdam. But the American Chiefs had avoided 
this close preliminary engagement with the British alone. They had 
answered that if the British Chiefs had matters in mind that ought to 
be settled before the conference, these could be discussed in Washing- 
ton; and that if all common business could not be finished at Potsdam, 
they would stop off in London after the conference. 

On June 20, Truman, at the request of Marshall and Hopkins, and 
having in mind the possible Japanese reaction, had asked Hamman to 
ascertain whether Stalin would object if he brought along his Chiefs 
of Staff to Berlin. Stalin said there was no objection; in fact, their pres- 
ence would be of use in discussions of military operations in the Far 

In the advance list of subjects for discussion submitted by the British 
Chiefs, one was regarded by the Americans with reserve: “Russian 
participation in the war against Japan.” The Joint Chiefs doubted 
whether it would be necessary to discuss this with the British Chiefs. 
In any case they did not want to do so until after anticipated talks with 
the Russians. At Potsdam, with the Soviet Chiefs of Staff, they hoped 
to review American operations in the Pacific, past and prospective, and 
to learn about Soviet plans. In mind was an accord for concerted actions 
in all the areas around Japan. The British, it was expected, would be 
campaigning in the South Pacific and South Asia; the Russians and the 
Chinese would be advancing on Japan from the north and center, in 
assaults more closely conjoining with our own. In military matters, as 
in political ones, with the ending of the war in Europe, it was what the 
Russians did that counted most in American official reckoning. 

f 162] 

2 3* The Secret That Traveled to Potsdam 

The Americans left for Potsdam with a momentous secret — which they 
kept out of their memos as well as off their tongues. They knew that 
some day soon the first test was to be made of the atomic weapon that 
had been long in the making. 1 

Secretary of War Stimson, who bore the focal responsibility for the 
decisions that would have to be made at once if the test went well, was 
planning to go to Potsdam. The President agreed that he should be 
close at hand when the results were known. Moreover, as Stimson told 
Byrnes, he wa nted to learn for himself more about the task assigned 
to the Army in the American zone in Germany and in the four-power 

Stimson’s thoughts about S~i (as the atomic weapon was identified), 
like those of the President, circled around its possible use in the war 
against Japan, rather than its bearing on the matters that were to be 
discussed in the conference at Potsdam. Its first great impact was the 
issuance of a last warning to Japan— the Potsdam Declaration. The ex- 
tended account of the many talks, before and after Potsdam, about its 
use against Japan and about plans for its control will be left for future 
narration. But before entering into the lanes along which the work of 
the conference flowed, we ought to summon the stirring reports that 
reached Potsdam about the test in New Mexico just as the conference 
was starting. 

The formal opening of the conference was put off from July 1 6 to 
17 because Stalin had suffered a slight heart attack. 1 * Truman used the 
liberated day to drive into Berlin from his quarters at Babelsbeig. “In 
that two hour drive,” he later wrote, “I saw evidence of a great world 

Upon his return Stimson hurried over to tell him and Byrnes of 
a message just in from George Harrison, who was acting as Chairman 
of the Interim Committee on S-J while Stimson was away. lb This was 

1 Smyth, the historian of the project, was writing in his notes, “the end of June finds 
u> expecting from day to day to hear of the explosion of the first atomic bomb devised 
by man.” Henry De Wolfe Smyth, Atomic Energy lor Military Purfoset, page i*j. 

*■ When Stalin called on Truman he apologized for causing this delay, explaining that 
the doctors would not let him fly because of “neatness in the lungs." But it is virtually 
certain that he was suffering from heart trouble. 

lb In writing later about the first report given him by Stimson of the results of the test, 
Truman seems to have been confused in his memory of detail. As recounted in Year of 
Decision, page 41 j, “The histone message of the first explosion of an atomic bomb was 

[* 63 ] 

the first flash about the detonation of the bomb in Alamogordo. In code 
expression it read: “Operated on this morning. Diagnosis not yet com- 
plete but results seem satisfactory and already exceed expectations. Local 
press release necessary as interest extends great distance. 2 Doctor 
[General] Groves pleased. He returns [to Washington] tomorrow. I 
will keep you posted.” 3 

Harrison did so in another short message that reached Stimson the 
next day or evening (the 17th). This read: “Doctor Groves has just 
returned most enthusiastic and confident that the little boy is as husky 
as his big brother. The light in his eyes discernible from here [Washing- 
ton] to Highhold [Stimson’s house on Long Island, 250 miles away] 
and I could have heard his screams from here to my farm [at Upper- 
ville, Virginia, 40 miles away].’* 

Stimson at once discussed the latest news with Byrnes, and passed it 
on to Churchill. The Secretary of War noted in his diary that the Prime 
Minister had not heard of the great event from British officials in 
Washington, that he was much cheered up, and that he was strongly 
against disclosing information about the weapon to the Russians. 

On the next day, the 18th, Stimson talked over with the President 
the import of Harrison’s second message. In his diary entry for that 
day he noted that the President seemed to him “highly delighted . . . 
[and] very greatly reinforced over the message from Harrison, and 
said he was very glad I had come to the meeting.”* 

flashed to me in a message from Secretary of War Stimson on the morning of the 1 6th. . . . 
Stimson flew to Potsdam the next day to see me and brought with him the full details of 
the test.” But Stimson was in Babelsberg on the 16th, and took the first brief message in 
person to Truman that same evening. 

2 The flash and noise of the explosion, seen and heard far away, aroused excited curiosity. 
The Commanding Officer of the Alamogordo Army Air Base, General Ericson, gave the 
press a statement, which said that the explosion had occurred in a remotely located am- 
munition magazine. For its text see Albuquerque Tribune of July 16, 19*5. The explana- 
tion seems to have been accepted calmly and without question. No mention of either the 
explosion or its cause is to be found in the issues of the New York Times or Herald Tribune 
of July 17, probably because of voluntary censorship. 

* Potsdam Papers, Document 1303. 

4 Potsdam Papers, Document 1304. 

* Here this historian runs into another instance of conflicting records of chronology, 

which is left for other researchers to clear t»p. Stanton's diary does not mention any 
general convocation of military and civilian heads to confer about the news on either the 
17th or the 18th. But Truman, Year of Decisions, page 413, wrote that on the 
'T’"i •Her kariag keerd StUnssa'e report of the test, fie at once called in Byrnes, 
Leahy, Marshall, Arnold, and King, to review our military strategy in the light of this 
revolutionary development. The Joint Chiefs did meet on the moraine of the 17th, but 
not with the President. 6 

Churchill, Tmumfk and Tragedy, page, 638-39, wrote that on the morning of the 18th 

a plane armed with a full description of this tremendous event in the human story,” 

[ l6+] 

On the 2 1st, just before noon, a courier put in Stimson’s hands the 
special report that General Groves had prepared. Stimson found it 
“an immensely powerful document, clearly and well written, and with 
supporting documents of the highest importance,” and believed that 
“it gave a pretty full and eloquent report of the tremendous success of 
the test and revealed far greater destructive power than we expected 
in S-I.” 

This report from the scene of the explosion is longish, but in order 
to appreciate its impress, it should be read in full, as it was by the re- 
cipients at Potsdam: 


(July 1 8, 1945) 

Subject: The Test 

1. This is not a concise, formal military report but an attempt to recite 
what I would have told you if you had been here on my return from New 

a. At 0530, 16 July 1945, in a remote section of the Alamogordo Air 
Base, New Mexico, the first full scale test was made of the implosion type 
atomic fission bomb. For the first time in history there was a nuclear ex- 
plosion. And what an explosion 1 . . . The bomb was not dropped from an 
airplane but was exploded on a platform on top of a JOO-foot high steel tower. 

3. The test was successful beyond the most optimistic expectations of 
anyone. Based on the data which it has been possible to work up to date, I 
estimate the energy generated to be in excess of the equivalent of 15,000 to 
20,000 tons of TNT; and this is a conservative estimate. Data based on 
measurements which we have not yet been able to reconcile would make the 
energy release several times the conservative figure. There were tremendous 
blast effects. For a brief period there was a lighting effect within a radius of 
20 miles equal to several suns in midday; a huge ball of fire was formed 
which lasted for several seconds. This ball mushroomed and rose to a height 
of over 10,000 feet before it dimmed. The light from the explosion was seen 
clearly at Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Silver City, El Paso and other points gen- 
erally to about 180 miles away. The sound was heard to the same distance 
in a few instances but generally to about too miles. Only a few windows 
were broken although one was some 125 miles away. A massive cloud was 
formed which surged and billowed upward with tremendous power, reaching 

0 cooler “forthwith,” Marshall and Leahy to be present. 

. :t of talk with Truman on the tSth is verified by the 

note bearing that date written by Churchill for the War Cabinet ( ibid ., pages 6*0-41). 
But the report containing the “full description” was not put in Stunson’i hands by courier 


the substratosphere at an elevation of 41,000 feet, 36,000 feet above the 
ground, in about 5 minutes, breaking without interruption through a tem- 
perature inversion at 17,000 feet which most of the scientists thought would 
stop it. Two supplementary explosions occurred in the cloud shortly after the 
main explosion. The cloud contained several thousand tons of dust picked 
up from the ground and a considerable amount of iron in the gaseous form. 
Our present thought is that this iron ignited when it mixed with the oxygen 
in the air to cause these supplementary explosions. Huge concentrations of 
highly radioactive materials resulted from the fission and were contained 
in this cloud. 

4. A crater from which all vegetation had vanished, with a diameter of 
1300 feet and a slight slope toward the center, was formed. In the center was 
a shallow bowl 1 30 feet in diameter and 6 feet in depth. The material within 
the crater was deeply pulverized dirt. The material within the outer circle 
is greenish and can be distinctly seen from as much as 5 miles away. The 
steel from the tower was evaporated. 1500 feet away there was a 4-inch iron 
pipe 16 feet high set in concrete and strongly guyed. It disappeared completely. 

5. One-half mile from the explosion there was a massive steel test cjlinder 
weighing 220 tons. The base of the cjlinder was solidly encased in concrete. 
Surrounding the cylinder was a strong steel tower 70 feet high, firmly anchored 
to concrete foundations. This tower is comparable to a steel building bay that 
would be found in a typical 15 or 20 story skyscraper or in warehouse con- 
struction. Forty tons of steel were used to fabricate the tower which was 70 
feet high, the height of a six story building. The cross bracing was much 
stronger than that normally used in ordinary steel construction. The absence 
of the solid walls of a budding gave the blast a much less effective surface 
to push against. The blast tore the tower from its foundations, twisted it, 
ripped it apart and left it flat on the ground. The effects on the tower in- 
dicate that, at that distance, unshielded permanent steel and masonry budd- 
ings would have been destroyed ... I no longer consider the Pentagon a 
safe shelter from such a bomb. Enclosed are a sketch showing the tower 
before the explosion and a telephotograph showing what it looked like after- 
wards. [Neither picture reproduced.] None of us had expected it to be damaged. 

6. The cloud traveled to a great height first in the form of a ball, then 
mushroomed, then changed into a long trailing chimney-shaped column and 
finally was sent in several directions by the variable winds at the different 
elevations. It deposited its dust and radioactive materials over a wide area. 
It was followed and monitored by medical doctors and scientists with instru- 
ments to check its radioactive effects. While here and there the activity on 
the ground was fairly high, at no place did it reach a concentration which 
required evacuation of the population. Radioactive material in small quantities 
was located as much as 1 20 miles away. The measurements are being con- 
tinued in order to have adequate data with which to protect the Govern- 
ment’s interests in case of future claims. For a few hours I was none too 
comfortable about the situation. 

7. For instances as much as 200 miles away, observers were stationed to 
check on blast effects, property damage, radioactivity and reactions of the 



population. While complete reports have not jet been received, I know that 
no persons were injured nor was there any real property damage outside 
our Government area. As soon as all the voluminous data can be checked and 
correlated, full technical studies will be possible. 

8 . Our long range weather predictions had indicated that we could expect 
weather favorable for our tests beginning on the morning of the 17th and 
continuing for 4 days. This was almost a certainty if we were to believe our 
long range forecasters. The prediction for the morning of the s 6th was not 
so certain but there was about an eighty percent chance of the conditions 
being suitable. During the night there were thunder storms with light- 
ning dashes all over the area. The test had been originally set for 0400 
hours and all the night through, because of the bad weather, there were 
urgings from many of the scientists to postpone the test. Such a delay might 
well have had crippling results due to mechanical difficulties in our com- 
plicated test set-up. Fortunately, we disregarded the urgings. We held firm 
and waited Die night through hoping for suitable weather. We had to delay 
an hour and a half, to 0530, before we could fire. This was 30 minutes before 

9. Because of bad weather, our two B-29 observation airplanes were unable 
to take off as scheduled from Kirkland Field at Albuquerque and when they 
finally did get off, they found it impossible to get over the target because 
of the heavy clouds and the thunder storms. Certain desired observations 
could not be made and while the people in the airplanes saw the explosion 
from a distance, they were not as close as they will be in action. We still 
have no reason to anticipate the loss of our plane in an actual operation al- 
though we cannot guarantee safety. 

10. Just before 1100 the news stories from all over the state started to 
flow into the Albuquerque Associated Press. I then directed the issuance by 
the Commanding Officer, Alamogordo Air Base of a news release as shown 
on the indosure. With the assistance of the Office of Censorship we were 
able to limit the news stories to the approved release supplemented in the 
local papers by brief stories from the many eyewitnesses not connected with 
our project. One of these was a blind woman who saw the light. 

It. Brigadier General Thomas F. Farrell was at the control shelter 
located 10,000 yards south of the point of explosion. His impressions are 
given below: 

Impressions of Brigadier General Thomas F. Farrell at control shelter 
10,000 yards south of point of explosion: 

“The scene inside the shelter was dramatic beyond words. In and around 
the shelter were some 20-odd people concerned with last minute arrange- 
ments prior to firing the shot. Included were: Dr. Oppenheimer, the Director 
who had borne the great scientific burden of developing the weapon from the 
raw materials made in Tennessee and Washington and a dozen of his key 
assistants — Dr. Kistiakowsky, who had developed the highly special explosives} 
Dr. Bainbridge, who supervised all the detaJed arrangements for the test; 
Dr. Hubbard, the weather expert, and several others. Besides these, there 



were a handful of soldiers, two or three Army officers and one Naval officer. 
The shelter was cluttered with a great variety of instruments and radios. 

“For some hectic two hours preceding the blast, General Groves stayed 
with the Director, walking with him and steadying his tense excitement 
Every time the Director would be about to explode because of some untoward 
happening, General Groves would take him off and walk with him in the 
rain, counselling with him and reassuring him that everything would he all 
right. At twenty minutes before zero hour, General Groves left for his sta- 
tion at the Base Camp [almost ttn miles from the point of explosion], first 
because it provided a better observation point and second, because of our rule 
that he and I must not be together in situations where there is an element 
of danger, which existed at both points. 

’‘Just after General Groves left, announcements began to be broadcast 
of the interval remaining before the blast. They were sent by radio to the 
other groups participating in and observing the test. As the time interval grew 
smaller and changed from minutes to seconds, the tension increased by leaps 
and bounds. Everyone in that room knew the awful potentialities of the 
thing that they thought was about to happen. The scientists felt that their 
figuring must be right and that the bomb had to go off but there was in every- 
one’s mind a strong measure of doubt.® The feeling of many could be ex- 
pressed by ‘Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.’ We were reaching 
into the unknown and we did not know what might come of it. It can be 
safely said that most of those present — Christian, Jew, and Atheist — were 
praying and praying harder than they had ever prayed before. If the shot were 
successful, it was a justification of the several years of intensive effort of tens 
of thousands of people — statesmen, scientists, engineers, manufacturers, sol- 
diers, and many others in every walk of life. 

“In that brief instant in the remote New Mexico desert the tremendous 
effort of the brains and brawn of all these people came suddenly and startlingly 
to the fullest fruition. Dr. Oppenheimer, on whom had rested a very heavy 
burden, grew tenser as the last seconds ticked off. He scarcely breathed. He 
held on to a post to steady himself. For the last few seconds, he stared directly 
ahead and then when the announcer shouted ‘Now!’ and there came this 
tremendous burst of light followed shortly thereafter by the deep growling 
roar of the explosion, his face relaxed into an expression of tremendous relief. 
Several of the observers standing back of the shelter to watch the lighting 
effects were knocked flat by the blast. 

“The tension in the room let up and all started congratulating each other. 
Everyone sensed ‘This is it!’ No matter what might happen now all knew 
that the impossible scientific job had been done. Atomic fission would no 
longer be hidden in the cloisters of the theoretical physicists’ dreams. It was 
almost full grown at birth. It was a great new force to he used for good or 
for evil. There was a feeling in that shelter that those concerned with its 

•All part* of the structure and detonating mechanism had been well proved, but the 
physics of the process of atomic fission, as embodied m the bomb, bad not been experi- 
mentally tested, and the scientists were anxious lest some element might have been over- 
looked, or incorrectly calculated. 

[ 168] 

nativity should dedicate their lives to the mission that it would always be 
used for good and never for evd. 

“Dr. Kistiakowsky, the impulsive Russian (Interpolation by Groves at 
this point, ‘an American and Harvard professor for many years’), threw his 
arms around Dr. Oppenheimer and embraced him with shouts of glee. Others 
were equally enthusiastic. All the pent-up emotions were released in those 
few minutes and all seemed to sense immediately that the explosion had far 
exceeded the most optimistic expectations and wildest hopes of the scientists. 
All seemed to feel that they had been present at the birth of a new age — • 
The Age of Atomic Energy — and felt their profound responsibility to help 
in guiding into right channels the tremendous forces which had been un- 
locked for the first time in history. 

"As to the present war, there was a feeling that no matter what else might 
happen, we now had the means to insure its speedy conclusion and save thou- 
sands of American lives. As to the future, there had been brought into being 
something big and something new that would prove to be immeasurably 
more important than the discovery of electricity' or any of the other great 
discoveries which have so affected our existence. 

“The effects could well be called unprecedented, magnificent, beautiful, 
stupendous and terrifying. No man-made phenomenon of such tremendous 
power had ever occurred before. The lighting effects beggared description. 
The whole country was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many 
times that of the midday sun. It was golden, purple, violet, gray and blue. 
It lighted every peak, crevasse and ridge of the nearby mountain range with 
a clarity and beauty that cannot be described but must be seen to be imagined. 
It was that beauty the great poets dream about but describe most poorly and 
inadequately. Thirty seconds after the explosion came first, the air blast pressing 
hard against the people and things, to be followed almost immediately by the 
strong, sustained, awesome roar which warned of doomsday and made us feel 
that we puny things were blasphemous to dare tamper with the forces hereto- 
fore reserved to The Almighty. Words are inadequate tools for the job of 
acquainting those not present with the physical, mental and psychological 
effects. It had to be witnessed to be realized.” (End of General Farrell’s 

12. My (General Groses’) impressions of the night’s high points follow: 

After about an hour’s sleep I got up at 0100 and from that time on until 
about five I was with Dr. Oppenheimer constantly. Naturally he was veiy 
nervous, although his mind was working at its usual extraordinary efficiency. 

I devoted my entire attention to shielding him from the excited and generally 
faulty advice of his assistants who were more than disturbed by their excite- 
ment and the uncertain weather conditions. By 0330 we decided that we 
could probably fire at 0530. By 0400 the rain had stopped but the sky was 
heavily overcast. Our decision became firmer as time went on. During most 
of these hours the two of us journeyed from the control house out into the 
darkness to look at the stars and to assure each other that the one or two 
visible stars were becoming brighter. At os 10 I left Dr. Oppenheimer and 

t *69 3 


returned to the main observation point which was 1 7,000 yards from the point 
of explosion. In accordance with our orders I found all personnel not other- 
wise occupied massed on a bit of high ground. 

At about two minutes of the scheduled firing time all persons lay face 
down with their feet pointing towards the explosion. As the remaining time 
was called from the loud speaker from the 1 0,000 yard control station there 
was complete silence. Dr. Conant said he had never imagined seconds could 
be so long. Most of the individuals in accordance with orders shielded their 
eyes in one way or another. There was then this burst of light of a brilliance 
beyond any comparison. We all rolled over and looked through dark glasses 
at the ball of fire. About forty seconds later came the shock wave followed 
by the sound, neither of which seemed startling after our complete astonish- 
ment at the extraordinary lighting intensity. Dr. Conant reached over and 
and we shook hands in mutual congratulations. Dr. Bush, who was on the 
other side of me, did likewise. The feeling of the entire assembly was similar 
to that described by General Farrell, with even the uninitiated feeling pro- 
found awe. Drs. Conant and Bush and myself were struck by an even stronger 
feeling that the faith of those who had been responsible for the initiation and 
the carrying on of this Herculean project had been justified. I personally 
thought of Blondin crossing Niagara Falls on his tight rope, only to me this 
tight rope had lasted for almost three years and of my repeated confident- 
appearing assurances that such a thing was posable and that we would do it. 

13. A large group of observers were stationed at a point about 27 miles 
north of the point of explosion. Attached is a memorandum written shortly 
after the explosion by Dr. E. O. Lawrence which may be of interest. 

14. While General Farrell was waiting about midnight for a commercial 
airplane to Washington at Albuquerque — 120 miles away from the site — he 
overheard several airport employees discussing their reaction to the blast. One 
said that he was out on the parking apron; it was quite dark; then the whole 
southern sky was lighted as though by a bright sun; the light lasted several 
seconds. Another remarked that if a few exploding bombs could have such 
an effect, it must be terrible to have them drop on a city. 

1 5, My liaison officer at the Alamogordo Air Base, sixty miles away, made 
the following report: 

“There was a blinding flash of light that lighted the entire northwestern 
sky. In the center of the flash, there appeared to be a huge billow of smoke. 
The original flash died down, there arose in the approximate center of where 
the original flash had occurred an enormous ball of what appeared to be fire 
and closely resembled a rising sun that was % above a mountain. The ball of 
fire lasted approximately fifteen seconds, then died down and the sky re- 
sumed an almost normal appearance. 

“Almost immediately, a third, but much smaller, flash and billow of smoke 
of a whitish-orange color appeared in the sky, again lighting the sky for ap- 
proximately 4 seconds. At the time of the original flash, the field was lighted 
well enough so that a newspaper could easily have been read. The second 
and third flashes were of much lesser intensity. 

“We were in a glass-enclosed control tower some 70 feet above the ground 

I 170] 


and felt no concussion or air compression. There was no noticeable earth 
tremor although reports overheard at the Field during the following 24 hours 
indicated that some believed that they had both heard the explosion and felt 
some earth tremor.” 

16. I have not written 2 separate report for General Marshall as I feel 
you will want to show this to him. I have informed the necessary people here 
of our results. Lord Halifax after discussion with Mr. Harrison and myself 
stated that he was not sending a full report to his government at this time. 
I informed him that I was sending this to you and that you might wish to 
show it to the proper British representatives. 

1 7. We are all fully conscious that our real goal is still before us. The battle 
test is what counts in the war with Japan. 

iS. May I express my deep personal appreciation for your congratulatory 
cable to us and for the support and confidence which I have received from 
you ever since I have had this work under my charge. 

19. I know that Colonel Kyle will guard these papers with his customary 
extraordinary care. 

L. R. Groves 1 

Stimson at once sought an engagement with the President. It was 
fixed £or half-past three that afternoon. In the interval he told Marshall 
of the main features of Groves* report. When Stimson got to the “Little 
White House,” he asked the President to call Byrnes in, and read the 
message in full to them. The President was, in the words of Stimson’s 
diary, “tremendously pepped up by it . . . and said that it gave him 
an entirely new feeling of confidence.” Why the report was such an 
elixir will be clearer after reading the later pages telling of the tussles 
that were going on around the conference table. 

Stimson then hurried over to Churchill’s quarters and gave him the 
typed memo from Groves. The Prime Minister could not read it 
through before he had to leave for the Fifth Plenary Session with Tru- 
man and Stalin. He asked Stimson to come again the next morning. 

Before going over to see the Prime Minister that next forenoon 
(the 22nd) Stimson stopped by the “Little White House" to pick up 
a paper he had left with the President the day before, summarizing his 
ideas about sharing knowledge of the new weapon with the Russians, 
and the possibility of bringing the new force — atomic energy— under 
effective international control. As he was leaving he told Truman that 
Harrison had just assured him that a bomb would be ready for use 
against Japan early in August. 

Then on he went to the residence of the Prime Minister, and stood by 
while the message from Groves was being read in full. On putting it 

7 Potsdam Papers, Document 130J. 

down, Churchill, all animation, leaned forward in his chair, waved his 
cigar, and said: “Stimson, what was gunpowder? Trivial. What was 
electricity? Meaningless. This atomic bomb is the second coming in 
wrath.” 8 

The Chairman of the British Chiefs of Staff did not share the Prime 
Minister’s exuberance. “At 1 :30 p.m.” he noted in his diary, “we went 
round to lunch with the P.M. He had seen the American reports of 
results of the new Tube Alloys’ secret explosive which had been car- 
ried out in the States. He had absorbed all the minor American exag- 
gerations and, as a result, was completely carried away. It was now no 
longer necessary for the Russians to come into the Japanese war; the 
new explosive alone was sufficient to settle the matter. Furthermore, 
we now had something in our hands which would redress the balance 
with the Russians. The secret of this explosive and the power to use it 
would completely alter the diplomatic equilibrium which was adrift 
since the defeat of Germany. Now we had a new value which redressed 
our position (pushing out his chin and scowling) ; now we could say, 
‘If you insist on doing this or that, well . . .’ And then where are 
the Russians!”* 

The consequent questions of whether, when, how, and how much to 
tell the Russians about the new weapon had perplexed the informed 
American officials ever since the scientists and engineers had forecast its 

In 1943 at Hyde Park, Roosevelt and Churchill had entered into an 
agreement stating: “(1) The suggestion that the world should be in- 
formed about Tube Alloys, with a view to international agreement re- 
garding its control and use is not accepted. The matter should continue 
to be regarded as of the utmost secrecy; but when a ‘bomb’ is finally 
available, it might perhaps, after mature consideration, be used against 
the Japanese who should be warned that the bombardment will be re- 
peated until they surrender.” 10 

The Interim Committee, without knowing of the accord, had agreed 
early in June that the American government ought not reveal the exist- 
ence of the weapon to Russia or anyone else until after it was proved 
in use against Japan. When reporting to the President on June 6th about 

• Harvey H. Bundy, who ni present at this talk with Cbnrchill, in the Atlantic Monthly 
(March >957). 

* Extract from diary of Field-Marshal Lord Alanbroolc, July 13. 10*,. in Triumth 

in t/u W,sl, by Sir Arthur Bryant. ’ J r 

10 Potsdam Papers, Document tjo6. 

the points qj agreement reached, in the Interim Committee, Stimson 
had stressed this conclusion. He had then said he was perplexed as to 
what might happen when the President met with Stalin and Churchill. 
Truman had remarked that the postponement of the conference until 
the middle of July would give the wanted time. The Secretary of War 
had not been wholly reassured. What if the tests were delayed? 

Stimson had then summed up for the President the discussions that 
had been going on in and out of the Interim Committee on future con- 
trol of this new force. The only suggestion the Committee had advanced, 
he said, was that countries should promise to make public all the work 
they were doing in this field, and to form an international control group 
with full powers of inspection in all countries. Presdently, he remarked 
that he realized that this plan was imperfect and the Russians might not 
agree with it. If they did not, all we could do, he thought, was to ac- 
cumulate enough fissionable material as insurance. In any case, he re- 
iterated his conviction that no disclosure ought to be made to anyone 
until an agreement on control was working effectively. Marshall had 
been of the same determined opinion. 

Could the United States, the President wondered, get something of 
value in return for sharing information about atomic fission with the 
Soviet Union? Might we be able to get greater cooperation in arriving 
at accords in regard to Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Manchuria, for 

On July 4, two days before the American group left for Potsdam, 
the Combined (U.S.-British) Policy Committee had pondered over the 
same problem of what, if anything, to tell the Russians. The British 
and Canadian members (Field Marshal Sir Henry Maitland Wilson, 
liaison for the British Chiefs of Staff, and the Honorable C. D. Howe, 
Canadian Minister of Munitions) had gone along with Stimson’s ideas 
of what had best be done. As recorded in the Minutes of this discussion: 

“The Chairman [Stimson] said he was thinking of . . . the forth- 
coming meeting with Stalin. His own opinion had been very much in- 
fluenced by the probable use within a few weeks after the meeting. If 
nothing was said at this meeting about the T.A. weapon, its subsequent 
early use might have a serious effect on the relations of frankness be- 
tween the three great Allies. He had therefore advised the President to 
watch the atmosphere at the meeting. If mutual frankness on other ques- 
tions was found to be real and satisfactory, then the President might 
say that work was being done on the development of atomic fission for 
war purposes j that good progress had been madej and that an attempt 

[ *73 1 

to use a weapon would be made shortly, though it was no^ certain that 
it would succeed. If it did succeed, it would be necessary for a discus- 
sion to be held on the best method of handling the development in the 
interests of world peace and not for destruction. If Stalin pressed for 
immediate disclosure the President might say that he was not prepared 
to take the matter further at the present time.” 11 

All these questions had been left hanging in the air. There they had 
stayed until the President reached Potsdam and the news of the results 
of the test in New Mexico overtook him and Stimson and Byrnes. When 
they learned that it would soon be available for use against Japan, they 
had to make up their minds. The quest for the correct course led them 
into even more intense talk about how much to tell the Russians. 

All recognized that it would be sensible as well as proper to let Stalin 
know of the achievement, for of course he would learn of it as soon as 
the bomb %vas used against the Japanese— which would be in about a 
fortnight. But how much should he be told of its nature? Above all 
else, should we share the knowledge as to how the new weapon was 
made? On that question, as has been told, the ruling official opinion had 
been steady from the start: we must not do so until or unless an agree- 
ment was reached for international inspection and control. The only 
notable challenge to this conclusion was that offered by some of the 
scientists who were convinced that the Soviet Union could easily and 
quickly learn how to make the new weapon, whether or not we told 
them what we knew. If that were true, they had argued, by sharing our 
knowledge we would be showing trust, and so win trust; while if we 
concealed what we knew, we would, by showing mistrust, stimulate 
their hostility, suspicion, and rivalry. 

Stimson meditated over this dilemma, fretted over it during sleepless 
hours of the night. He had taught himself to live by the maxim that 
the way to win trust is to give it; and this dashed with the dark lessons 
of history about the ways of absolute dictatorship. The President took 
the view that it was common seme to wait until we were sure. Byrnes 
thought unguarded openness would bring advantage only to the Rus- 

But at Potsdam these longer and more lasting aspects of the ques- 
tion were thrust into the background by thoughts of more immediate 

1 1 Potsdam Paper*, Document 619. The members of the Committee were Stimson, 
Wilson, llowe, and Dr. Vannevar Bush. On this occasion there were also present the British 
Ambassador (the Earl of Halifax), Sir Jame* Chadwick, General L. R. Grove*, and 
Georst Harrison, as well a* the Joint Secretaries, Harvey H. Bundy and Roger Makins. 

t 171] 

consequences- How would opening the doors to knowledge about tfie 
weapon, or keeping them dosed, affect the Soviet attitude in the disputa- 
tious talks on European questions that were going on? How might the 
Soviet decision about entering the Pacific war be affected? Or the timing 
of Russia’s entry ? Or its attitude toward the situation in China? 

On July t 8 , when Truman talked with Churchill about the new 
weapon, they reviewed these quandaries. Truman’s attitude and Church- 
ill’s response are recorded in a note the Prime Minister made for the 
War Cabinet: 

“The President showed me telegrams about the recent experiment, 
and asked what I thought should be done about telling the Russians. 
He seemed determined to do this, but asked about the timing, and said 
he thought that the end of the Conference would be best. I replied 
that if he were resolved to tell it might well be better to hang it on the 
experiment, which was a new fact on which he and we had only just had 
knowledge. Therefore he would have a good answer to any question, 
‘Why did you not tell us this before?* He seemed impressed with this 
idea, and will consider it. 

“On behalf of His Majesty’s Government, I did not resist his pro- 
posed disclosure of the simple fact that we have this weapon. He reiter- 
ated his resolve at all costs to refuse to divulge any particulars . . .” ,J 

On further thinking the matter over, Churchill developed a positive 
disposition to let the Russians know we had the new weapon. After 
Stimson talked with him again on the 22nd, he wrote in his diary that 
Churchill “now not only was not worried about giving the Russians 
information on the matter, but was rather inclined to use it as an argu- 
ment in our favor in the negotiations. The sentiment of the four of 
us [Stimson, Bundy, Churchill, Cherwellj was unanimous in thinking 
that it was advisable to tell the Russians at least that we were working 
on the subject and intended to use it if and when it was successfully 
finished ," 11 

But Stimson’s impulse to be trustful and revealing was still checked 
by his view of the system of dictatorship under which the Russians lived. 
His worry and his sense of being on the sidelines had found outlet in 
a memo that he had given to the President the day before. In this he 
had expressed the opinion that the basic difficulty in our relations with 
Russia was that there was no personal or political freedom in that coun- 
try, that it was ruled by an arbitrary autocracy, and there could not be 

12 Triumph and Tragiiy, pages $40-41. 

11 Potsdam Papers, Minutes, July at, 194s. 

[ 175 ] 

dose and reliable relations between such a system and ours. Thus he 
had urged that we try to get Stalin to take the lead in introducing 
freedoms into the Soviet Union. Otherwise he feared that a new war 
was inevitable, one that would bring about the destruction of our 
civilization. The memo concluded: 

“The foregoing has a vital bearing upon the control of the vast and 
revolutionary discovery of ‘X’ [atomic energy] which is now confront- 
ing us. Upon the successful control of that energy depends the future 
successful development or destruction of the modern dvilized world. 
The Committee appointed by the War Department [the Interim Com- 
mittee] which has been considering that control has pointed this out in 
no uncertain terms and has called for an international organization for 
that purpose. After careful reflection I am of the belief that no world 
organization containing as one of its dominant members a nation whose 
people are not possessed of free speech but whose governmental action 
is controlled by the autocratic machinery of a secret political police, 
[can] give effective control of this new agency with its devastating 

“I therefore believe that before we share our new discovery with 
Russia we should consider carefully whether we can do so safely under 
any system of control until Russia puts into effective action the pro- 
posed constitution which I have mentioned. If this is a necessary con- 
dition, we must go slowly in any disclosures or agreeing to any Russian 
partidpation whatsoever and constantly explore the question how our 
headstart in ‘X* and the Russian desire to participate can be used to 
bring us nearer to the removal of the basic difficulties which I have 
emphasized.” 1 * 

In other words, even if our head start were only temporary, could 
it not be used to influence the Soviet Union to make life safer for the 
world by converting itself into a constitutional democracy, in which 
citizens were free and rulers under restraint? How grand the purpose, 
how far away the chance! But to Stimson, as Elting Morison observes, 
“That these difficulties could, with care and time, be removed was not 
‘an idle dream.* ” ls 

On the morning of the 24th Stimson showed Truman the most re- 
cent message from Harrison, giving the probable date when all would 
be in order to use the bomb against Japan, then being assembled in 
Tinian. The President was delighted and said that it gave him his cue 

14 Potsdam Papers, Document 1157. 

ls Monson manuscript. 

[ 176 ] 

for issuing the final warning to Japan to accept the terms we and the 
British were offering, as the only way to escape utter destruction. He 
wanted to issue this summons to surrender as soon as he heard from 
Chiang Kai-shek, who had been asked to approve the text. At lunch 
Truman talked over with Byrnes how Stalin might be told enough to 
invalidate any future reproach that information of military importance 
had been kept from him, but no more. They agreed that it should be 
done in a rather off-hand way. 

That afternoon the Combined Chiefs of Staff had what was deemed 
a rewarding session with their Soviet associates. The Plenary Session of 
the Heads of State was rather unproductive, and at moments discordant, 
but Stalin showed some disposition to heed Western wishes. The con- 
ferees rose from their places with amiable nods, after approving the 
worksheet for their next meeting. As they were standing around in 
small groups waiting for their cars, the President sauntered over to Stalin. 
His own later account of their very brief chat is as off-hand, as humdrum 
even, as his act was made to appear: “On July 24 I casually mentioned 
to Stalin that we had a new weapon of unusual destructive force.” The 
better to give the impression of speaking in a “by the way” manner, he 
did not ask Bohlen to come with him. So what the President said was 
translated by Pavlov, the Russian interpreter. We are left to wonder 
what Pavlov, whose grasp of English was not perfect, understood Tru- 
man to say, and what translated version he passed on to Stalin. 

Whatever it was, the Generalissimo seemed pleased rather than sur- 
prised. Truman thought that he showed no special interest. All he said 
was that he was glad to hear it and hoped we would make ‘good use of 
it against the Japanese ,* >nt 

Churchill was standing perhaps five yards away, and watched with the 
closest attention to measure the effect of what the President was going to 
tell Stalin. His impression was more enlivened by his dramatic im- 
agination: “I can see it all as if it were yesterday. He seemed to be 
delighted. A new bomb! Of extraordinary power! Probably derisive on 
the whole Japanese war! What a bit of luck! This was my impression 
at the moment, and I was sure that he had no idea of the significance of 
what he was being told. w,T 

When Churchill asked Truman how the talk had gone, the President 
told him that Stalin had been pleased but not inquisitive. And when 

18 Year of Deciriom, page 416. A* Truman later wrote to Professor James L. Cate: 
“Premier Stalin smiled and thanked me for reporting the explosion to him, but I’m sure 
he did not understand its significance” (Craven and Cate, page 7 si). 

1T Triumfh and Tragtiy , page fijo. 

t *77 3 

Byrnes asked the same question the President answered in effect that all 
Stalin had said was “That’s fine, I hope you make good use of it against 
the Japanese .” 18 

What had been feared had not come to pass. Stalin had not tried to 
find out what the nature of the new weapon was, or how it was made. 
He had not suggested that Soviet officers or technicians be allowed to 
examine or witness its use. But was this only because he did not realize 
the significance of what Truman was telling him? He was not dull in 
grasping the meaning of even the most passing remark, or incurious 
about any improvement in weapons. It did not occur to any of the Amer- 
ican and British officials who were at Potsdam that Stalin might already 
have knowledge of the production and testing of the new weapon. Pos- 
sibly he did not. 

But it would be curious if he had not, in view of the secret and illicit 
reports that had been sent by Soviet agents to Moscow about the prob- 
lems solved in making the bomb, the engineering difficulties mastered, 
and the method of detonation. It is conceivable, though unlikely, that 
the Soviet intelligence organization had not sent this information to 
the top, or that Stalin’s military-science experts had not credited it. A 
better surmise — still only an unsupported surmise — is that he knew, 
before he was told, that this weapon was being made, knew even that 
it was all but perfected, but had not learned of the satisfactory test in 
New Mexico. 1 * 

In any case, Truman’s statement did not seem to cither the American 
or the British observers to influence the Russian attitude toward the 
situations that were being talked about at the conference. Nor can the 
historian going over the record of the conference discern signs that it 
did so. But this steadiness may have been dissimulation. Stalin was 
quite able to conceal any glimmer of an idea that the diplomatic or 
military balance between the West and the Soviet Union might be 
affected by the new weapon. Or he may have been certain that the Amer- 
ican government would not use the weapon against the Soviet Union 
because of any current difference. It may be that his technical advisers 
were already telling him they could in due course repeat the production. 
These are some of the reasons that can be conjectured for Stalin’s re- 
sponse, for the way in which he matched Truman’s casualaess. 

18 Byrnes, All n Oat Ultlimt, page joo. 

18 This surmise is derived from examination of the published record of Soviet atomic 
espionage i see W. Congrtu, Rtfori of Joint Commute, on Atomic Energy. 

t i/s : 


After his first quick and interrupted scanning of Groves’ long and 
vivid report on the New Mexico bomb test, Churchill had told Stimson 
he had noticed during the session of the conference the afternoon before 
(the 2ist) that the President was evidently much fortified by some news 
or event. To that alert observer Truman had seemed to be a changed 
person, maintaining his stand against the Russians in a most emphatic 
and derisive manner. And so, Churchill added, he too was a different 

Some of the President’s attendant staff had the same impression of 
new gusto and greater firmness. But alas, this is not detectable in the 
dull monochrome tone of the American minutes of the conference. Nor 
can I discern that any change in mood or attitude or judgment lasted 
through the following days of the conference. Certainty that we would 
be able to defeat the Soviet Union in war did not cause Truman or his 
advisers, military or civilian, to be more demanding. It apparently did 
not lead them to anticipate that the Russians would be more yielding 
after the great destructive power of the weapon was proved in use against 

As will be seen in the following chapters, the secret knowledge ap- 
pears to have mused the Americans and the British to be firm in their 
resistance to Soviet wishes that they thought excessive or perilous. It 
was a buttress for the policy of fairness and friendliness to which they 
were clinging. But the Americans at Potsdam either did not know how 
to use their command of the new weapon effectively as a threat, or 
chose not to use it in that way. 

Was not the American government resting the whole structure of 
its policy on a conviction that situations and disputes were to be settled 
only by peaceful means and orderly procedures? The intention was to 
find ways to use the technical triumph in New Mexico for the service 
of the ideal principles that had been endorsed at San Francisco. Even if 
Russia could be frightened or coerced by the bomb to give in against its 
will on matters before the conference, would the West be well served 
if in consequence it turned against the United Nations? Such, in so far 
as I can gather, was the trend of the sober reflections of those who 
guided American diplomatic and military decisions in Potsdam. 

Nor was our wish to have Russian cooperation in the war against 
Japan dispelled. After the receipt of the Groves report Stimson told 
Marshall that the President would like to know wether Marshall still 

[ 179] 

thought we needed the Russians in the Pacific war or whether we could 
get on without them. The answer was neither direct nor conclusive. 
Marshall said that the fact that the Russians were amassing large forces 
on the Manchurian frontier was already serving one of the purposes for 
which we wished them to come into the war: to cause the Japanese to 
keep their army in Manchuria. He also pointed out that even if we de- 
feated the Japanese without the Russians, or before they entered the 
war, they could, if they wished, march into Manchuria and take what 
they wanted. In sum, Marshall gave Stimson the impression that since 
we had the atomic bomb, Russian aid was no longer really needed to 
conquer Japan, or much wanted; but it would bring the end more 
quickly and with smaller loss of life; and since in any event the Soviet 
forces could obtain control of Manchuria (and possibly Korea and the 
Kuriles) it was still expedient to solicit Soviet entry. 

In sum, the light of the explosion “brighter than a thousand suns” 
filtered into the conference rooms at Potsdam only as a distant gleam. 
It was the fire, however, concealed in the final call for Japanese sur- 
render that was issued from Potsdam. And its full glare was to flash 
over Hiroshima not many days later. 

[ 180] 

24- Toward a Peace Conference 

Terminal: where war ended and peace was to start. As soon as all were 
in their seats at the round table for the first time, Truman led off in that 
direction. He asked attention for a proposal aimed to accelerate the 
preparation of peace treaties with some or all of the defeated Axis 

Memories of the dissension among the allies who had come together 
at Versailles after World War I had hung heavy over all discussions in 
Washington about the task ahead. By what means and methods different 
from those used in 1919 could the toil be shortened, the inevitable con- 
flicts of desire softened, and the ultimate arrangements improved? Only, 
it was concluded, if there were adequate advance consultation — first be- 
tween the larger powers, and then between them and the smaller ones. 

In a memo that Stcttinius had sent to the President on June 19 these 
thoughts were developed into a plan of procedure. It first cautioned 
against the convocation of a formal peace conference to deal with the 
enormous range of questions that were left in Europe at the end of the 
war: if all of the interested countries were invited to take part the 
proceedings would be slow and unwieldy; while if only a few were 
invited the others would object and challenge the decisions. A better 
way to start on the task, it was suggested, would be to have a small 
Council — composed of the five Foreign Ministers of the United States, 
United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, and France— first go over 
the most important problems. Stettinius urged that the Heads of Gov- 
ernment at Potsdam create such a Council, fix the time and place of its 
first meeting, and indicate the items they thought ought to be discussed 
first. After the Council had gone over a situation or treaty, as for example 
the peace treaty with Italy, it might be advisable in some cases for the 
governments who were members of the Council to call a conference of 
all states chiefly concerned; but in others ordinary diplomatic methods 
might suffice. 

The State Department had named the first tasks on which the Coun- 
cil had best engage: to draw up the terms of peace with Italy, Romania, 
Bulgaria, and Hungary; and to propose settlements of open territorial 


Early in July the American government had notified the British and 
Soviet governments that Truman at Potsdam would present a proposal 
along these lines. The British government had found no fault in it. The 
Soviet government had found one. On July 1 1 Molotov told Harriman 

that he saw no reason why China should be in the Council when it dis- 
cussed peace treaties with European countries, for China’s interest in 
European affairs was remote and its knowledge of them small. Ham- 
man had countered that the war was worldwide in its effect ; and that since 
China was one of the permanent members of the Security Council of the 
United Nations it was advisable that any deficiency in its knowledge of 
European affairs be quickly made up by informed experience. 

No doubt the Soviet government thought that the Chinese member 
of any such Council of Foreign Ministers would usually agree with the 
United States in case of differences of opinion with the Soviet Union. 
It may be surmised that the American government figured the prob- 
abilities in the same way. History was going to surprise them both — to 
shock the United States and delight the Soviet Union. 

The proposal that Truman submitted at the First Plenary Session of 
the conference conformed to the earlier notice. It read in part: “The ex- 
perience at Versailles following the last war does not encourage the be- 
lief that a full formal peace conference without preliminary preparations 
on the part of the leading powers is the best procedure. Such a confer- 
ence without such preparation would be slow and unwieldy, its sessions 
would be conducted in a heated atmosphere of rival claims and counter 
claims and ratification of the resulting documents might be long delayed. 
I therefore propose as the best formula to meet the situation the estab- 
lishment of a Council composed of the Foreign Ministers of Great 
Britain, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, France, and the 
United States .” 1 

The first task to be assigned to this Council of Foreign Ministers, it 
was suggested, should be to draw up peace treaties with Italy, Romania, 
and Bulgaria. The next would be to propose settlements of outstanding 
territorial questions in Europe. Later on the Council should be used to 
prepare a peace treaty with Germany. The Council should be allowed 
to adopt its procedure of consultation to each situation. It was contem- 
plated that any and all states should be given a fair chance to discuss 
with the Council any questions of direct interest to them. 

Stalin said he had no objection to the principles in Truman’s proposal. 
But, as had Molotov before, he questioned whether China should be 
drawn into the treatment of European affairs. It may be inferred that 
Churchill was no more pleased at that prospect than Stalin. But instead 
of directly opposing Truman he sought a way around the disagreeable 

1 Poudam Papert, Document 711. 


point. He approved the idea of bringing into being a Council of the 
Foreign Ministers of the five powers. But this new group should not 
supersede or lead to the disuse of two existing agencies of consultation, 
the regular quarterly meetings of the three Foreign Ministers, and the 
European Advisory Commission ; China was not on either. Let the three 
groups coexist and cooperate* 

In a scries of meetings that went into the next week, the three Foreign 
Ministers present at Potsdam — Byrnes, Eden, Molotov — and their staffs 
struggled to smooth over these divergent ripples of interest and intent. 
Stalin and Churchill were induced to pay a formal tribute to the Ameri- 
can wish to elevate the status of China. Truman was induced to accede 
to their opinion that China should not be given the chance to meddle 
in the preparation of peace treaties with European countries or the 
settlement of territorial questions in Europe. This was done obliquely, 
by providing that “For the discharge of each of these tasks the Council 
will be composed of the Members representing those States which were 
signatory to the terms of surrender imposed upon the enemy state 
concerned.”* China was not a signatory to any of the acts of surrender 
in Europe. 

But what about France? Was it to be enabled, even though it had 
dropped out of the war, to share in the preparation of peace treaties 
with all the European members of the Axis? The Americans and Brit- 
ish wanted to grant it that chance. Stalin and Molotov were willing to 
concede it the right to participate in the work on peace treaties with 
Italy and Germany, but not on those with Hungary, Romania, and 
Bulgaria. Their opposition was effective. 

Was it to be stipulated that the terms of these peace treaties, after 
the Council had agreed on them, be submitted to the United Nations? 
The President proposed that it should be so provided. And Byrnes 
argued that they were all obligated to this course by the original United 
Nations Declaration of January I, 1942. But Churchill said he had 
misgivings about making any such procedure compulsory, since it might 
cause the business of peacemaking to be too protracted and laborious. 
Stalin’s ambiguous comment (this was at the Second Plenary Session) 
enabled the negotiators to express themselves as being of one mind. He 
sa id that the prevision under eensidenician would not make any efrffer- 

* Subsequently, however, the conference agreed to recommend to the member govern- 
ments that the EAC be dissolved and that it* work be taken over by the Control Council* 
in Germany and Austria. 

* Potsdam Papers, Document 714. For final teat see the Protocol, reprinted below a* 

Supplementary Note 7. 


ence since the three powers would represent the interest of all (presuma- 
bly of all the United Nations). 

Churchill seems to have taken tins remark to mean that the text of 
the treaties would be referred to the United Nations only if and after 
all members of the Council of Foreign Ministers had given their stamp 
of approval. That being understood, he said the stipulation was ac- 
ceptable. And, Truman, possibly not grasping the import of Stalin’s 
remark, closed the discussion by saying that then the procedure for 
peace settlements was agreed to by all . 4 The pertinent provision in the 
text of the agreement as finally adopted read: “As its immediate im- 
portant task the Council shall be authorized to draw up, with a view 
to their submission to the United Nations, treaties of peace with Italy, 
Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland . . . The Council shall be 
utilized for the preparation of a peace settlement for Germany to be 
accepted by the Government of Germany when a Government adequate 
for the purpose is established.” 

. . with a view to their submission” ! The bridge builder, in his speci- 
fication of materials and structures, makes allowance for sway. So does 
the diplomat, by fluidity of language. 

This was the first accord reached at Potsdam. It was regarded as a 
cheering sign that the wish to cooperate would rule. But actually, while 
this agreement about future procedure in peacemaking — which com- 
mitted no one to any fact or act of substance— was being conceived, a 
cold and separating argument was going on about the attitude to be 
assumed toward Italy and the smaller Axis satellites. It started when 
the Americans urged that Italy be treated no longer as a former 
enemy, but as a reformed and friendly associate in the United Nations. 

4 The American minute, of this talk at the Second Plenary Session on July 1 8 leave 
the whole subject in obscurity, and so do the later references to it by Churchill and Tru- 
man in their memoirs. Churchill records his interpretation ( Triumph and Tragedy, page 
650) as follows: “Mr. Byrnes said we were so hound by the United Nations Declaration, 
bat both he and Stalin admitted that reference to the United Nations could only be made 
after the five Powers had agreed among themselves. I left it at that.” Truman’s sole com- 
ment is even more glancing. Referring to Stalin’s statement that the three powers would 
represent the interests of all, he wrote (Year of Decuions, page 3J1) ; “That was Stalin’s 
viewpoint all the way. His viewpoint was that Russia, Britain and the United States would 
settle world affairs and that it was nobody else’s business. I felt very strongly that the 
participation of all nations, small and large, was just as important to world peace as that 
of the big Three,” 


25. The Former Satellites of Germany 

The armistice with Italy was twenty months old. The country was 
being treated by the allies in some respects as a former enemy, in others 
as an associate in the struggle against Germany, and in still others as 
a ward. Its people were abashed rather than ashamed over their jackal 
behavior while under the spell of Mussolini. They were suffering from 
humiliation, though in the adaptable, self-accepting way of Italian na- 
ture. Many were without work and hungry, or sick, on the edge of 
despair. They lacked the means of paying for the coal, oil, raw ma- 
terials, machinery, trucks, and railway equipment needed to revive 
industrial production. Fascist suppression was past. Social inequality 
and neglect were as present as ever. 

The first coalition government that had been formed after liberation 
was conscientious, but directed by individuals who did not have the 
needed vitality or boldness. The Communists, by their bravery in 
their partisan activities against the Germans, had earned esteem and 
popularity. They were well organized, and were bent on securing con- 
trol of the country cither by taking advantage of the parliamentary 
system of government or by subversion. At the other edge of Italian 
political life a Fascist spirit and loyal supporters survived. 

Allied forces were still in occupation of part of the country, and 
still entitled under the armistice terms to direct its political and mili- 
tary affairs. But they were also acting as supporters and guardians: 
providing essentials to avert disease and unrest and to alleviate misery} 
keeping the Yugoslavs from taking over the northeastern provinces} 
teaching compromise in Italian politics. 

In the earlier stages of the war Great Britain had held the initiative 
in shaping policy toward Italy and the Italians. British Common- 
wealth forces (and their Polish comrades under British command) 
had endured most of the weight of the prolonged, punishing cam- 
paign from Sicily and the boot of Italy up to the Apennines. A British 
officer, Field Marshal Alexander, was Supreme Commander of Allied 
Forces in the Mediterranean Theatre. But by the time of the German 
surrender the lead had passed to the United States. It alone had the 
means to aid the country to revive, an intent wish to have it do so, and 
enough influence among the Italian people. Impatiently pushing the 
American government on were the large numbers of Americans of 
Italian origin, and the influential Catholic church officials and mem- 
bers, to whom Rome was the center of the spiritual world. American 

opinion was open to the belief that the Italian people wished to return 
to the ways of freedom and fairness. 

Proof was seen in the formation of an abler and more representa- 
tive coalition in June. This had been hailed by Grew on June ar in a 
public statement of encouraging warmth, which said: “This govern- 
ment is happy to learn that Italy has succeeded in forming a new gov- 
ernment in which the newly liberated north joins hands with the south 
and all the parties of the Committee of National Liberation participate. 
This union of forces, under the presidency of Signor Ferruccio Parri, 
a leader of the resistance movement — an outstanding soldier in the long 
fight for Italian freedom from the early days of Fascism to the last 
days of German invasion — is a good augury for the new government 
as it faces the many problems ahead. Not least among these is the 
historic task of preparing the machinery whereby the people of Italy 
can at long last freely and fully express their political will. . . . The 
people of the United States will therefore follow its progress with 
interest and sympathy.” 

Not only with interest and sympathy, but with active support. The 
American government had determined to prop up the authority of the 
new Italian administration, repair the Italian economy, and regenerate 
the self-respect of the Italian people. 

On the whole, Churchill welcomed this surge of American purpose 
because of his lively fear that the Italian people, having tolerated 
Fascist domination for twenty years, might easily slide into Communist 
control. But Eden found it harder to forget how Italy, by assaulting 
Ethiopia, had smitten the League of Nations; how it had then, in 1940, 
repudiated its bonds with the West and struck England a blow that 
might have been mortal; and how the British army and navy had 
been forced, at utmost risk to the nation, to devote their combat re- 
serves to preventing Italian conquest of Suez and loss of vital connec- 
tions with the East. 

Some of the measures conceived in Washington the Americans and 
British could take quickly and without consulting the Soviet govern- 
ment. Others required time and Soviet (and perhaps French) assent. 

The first step in mind was the reform of the Allied Commission 
(nominally an agency of the United Nations but really run by its 
British and American members). This was to be converted into a 
civilian organization, with many of its duties and powers given over 
to the Italian government. The next step was to replace the instrument 


of surrender, signed in 1943, by an interim agreement that would relax 
many of the allied controls and restraints. While these measures to 
turn control of Italy back to the Italian people were being taken, the 
American government would be striving to secure admission for Italy 
into the United Nations, and doing what it could to hurry on the ne- 
gotiation of a peace treaty that would discharge Italy from allied 

This program, it was realized, would work out well only if there 
were steady and strong political leadership in Italy and a rapid im- 
provement of the conditions of daily life. For these purposes it was 
essential to enlist popular support. This in turn could be achieved only 
by the introduction of a new government by fair and free elections} 
and by giving the Italian people an unhindered chance to decide for 
themselves by popular vote whether they wanted Italy to remain a 
kingdom, under the former king in exile, or any king. The American 
and British governments might see to it that these elections were 
properly conducted. And this political effort was to be sustained and 
supplemented by measures to relieve economic and social distress, and 
enable Italy to become self-supporting. 

The American government visualized the rapid departure of allied 
troops from Italy. Even as it was vowing that all forms of military 
organization must be banned forever in Germany, it seems to have 
been willing to consider the formation 0/ an Italian military force as 
well as a civilian police force. As approved in June by the Joint Chiefs, 
the American plan of redeployment contemplated that by the end of the 
year only 2,500 American troops would remain in Italy, other than 
the division that was to continue to share in the occupation of Venezia 
Giulia. But Alexander regarded this rush to get out as dangerous} and 
Churchill, it was known, intended to urge Truman when they met to 
retain larger numbers in the country. The State Department recom- 
mended to the President shortly before he left for Potsdam that: "the 
principle should be established that the Allied troops will £ot be wholly 
withdrawn from Italy until after the Italian people would have had 
an opportunity ... to choose their form of democratic government. It 
is thus recommended that at least a token force of United States troops be 
left in Italy.” 1 

Similarly the British Chiefs of Staff wanted to maintain a Combined 
(U.S.-British) Command in Italy, at least until the Allied Commission 
had been dissolved and the allied military assignments in Venezia 

1 Potsdam Papers, Document 47}. 

[ *87 ] 

Giulia and Bolzano had ceased. The American Chiefs were eager to 
dissolve the existing Combined Headquarters, but agreed to postpone 

Truman made the scope of his purpose plain at the First Plenary 
Session. There he introduced a proposal that stated the essentials of an 
interim arrangement to regulate relations with Italy while the peace 
treaty was being prepared and negotiated. 2 

The surrender terms were to be replaced by a voluntary accord with 
the Italian government. The allies would agree to end all their controls 
over Italy except those justified by two special purposes. One of these 
was the elementary one of servicing and protecting such allied military 
forces as might stay in Italy. The other was to make sure that the dis- 
pute with Tito about control of Venezia Giulia was settled fairly and 
peaceably. The Italian government would pledge itself not to take any 
hostile actions against any of the United Nations, and not to maintain 
any military forces except such as might be approved by the allies. 

Churchill listened with a scowl— especially to Truman’s prefatory 
remarks devoted to the admission of Italy into the United Nations. 
He recalled the Italian “stab in the back” and warned against deciding 
such important matters in haste. 

Stalin on this occasion said nothing. But three days later (July ao), 
when Truman asked for action, it became clear what other skeins the 
Marshal wanted to wind about the same bobbin. Stalin said that in 
principle he was not against what the President was proposing. Why not 
have the three Foreign Ministers examine the main points carefully, 
and at the tame time consider whether they should not also transjortn 
in a similar way the relations with other satellite states — Finland, Hun- 
gary, Romania, and Bulgaria? He saw no reason to single out Italy. 
Truman brought up two: Italy had surrendered first; and the armistice 
terms imposed on it had been harsher than those imposed on other 
satellites. Bufc he curtly agreed that the situation of the other satellites 
might also be reviewed. 

Churchill’s usual magnanimity — or fear of Communism — came slowly 
to the fore again. He said he was willing to have the Council of Foreign 
Ministers begin to prepare a peace treaty with Italy. But he could not 
wholly agree to the proposed interim arrangement, for it would not 
cover the existing rights of allies to control the future of the Italian 

' Hit., Document 10S9. 

[ 188] 

fleet, the disposition of Italian colonics, reparations, and other mat- 
ters 5 and if these were lost the allies would not be able to get the peace 
terms to which they were entitled. He added, however, that he was more 
inclined to conclude peace with Italy than with Bulgaria, which “lay 
crouching in the Balkans fawning on German aid. She had also com- 
mitted many cruelties in Greece and Yugoslavia. She had prevented 
Turkey’s entering the war when this would have been most helpful.” 

This rainbow discourse did not appeal to either Truman or Stalin. 
The President has recalled his impressions as he listened: “Churchill 
always found it necessary in cases of this kind, particularly where the 
Mediterranean was involved, to make long statements like this and 
then agree to what had already been done. . . . He was apparently 
making a record for use later by the British when the peace treaties 
were really and actually negotiated. He did the same thing when we 
were talking about France and Spain. On several occasions when 
Churchill was discussing something at length, Stalin would lean on his 
elbow, pull on his mustache, and say, ‘Why don’t you agree? The 
Americans agree and we agree. You will agree eventually, so why 
don’t you do it now?* Then the argument would stop. Churchill in the 
end would agree, but he had to make a speech about it first.” 3 

It is true that Churchill was not forgetting the British imperial high- 
ways to the East: there was no Truman Doctrine then for Greece and 
Turkey. Nor was Stalin forgetting the countries on Russia’s borders 
that were being absorbed into the Soviet sphere of control. What the 
three of them did at Potsdam, he moralized, should not be warped 
by complaints or desires for revenge. It should be shaped by the pur- 
pose of separating all these countries from Germany for all time. So the 
Russians were willing to subdue their memories of injuries, inflicted not 
only by Italy but also by the other satellites. The time had come, he 
thought, to ease the positions of these countries too, though not in the 
same measure as in Italy. “With regard to the satellites, he did not 
propose that peace treaties be signed with them nor e\sn that some 
intermediate position be accorded them as the President had proposed 
for Italy.” But why should they not start by resuming diplomatic rela- 
tions with them? As for the objection that they did not have freely 
elected governments, neither had Italy, 'France, nor Belgium, with which 
the United States and Great Britain were consorting. Truman answered 
vaguely that he thought an agreement could be reached regarding not 

* Year of Decisions, page 363. 

[ 189] 

only Italy but all the satellites. He wished to bring about a feeling of 
peace in the world as soon as might be, and to make It possible for all 
these countries to be self-sustaining. 

Let the Foreign Ministers, it was agreed after some vagrant argu- 
ment, discuss not only the American proposal about Italy but also the 
situation of the other satellites. Discuss they could and did. Agree they 
could not. Trouble erupted when they tried. The reasons may be 
clearer if we briefly review the immediately preceding turn of events 
in the satellite countries. 

Hungary had taken a brutal part in the Nazi program and the as- 
sault on the Soviet Union. Yet it was still thought to be by history, 
nature, and wish attached to the West; and the American government 
was eager to rescue it for the West. The existing Provisional National 
Government was a coalition of various anti-Nazi groups, controlled by 
party leaders and organizers, the strongest of whom were Communists. 
The more moderate elements were living in fear of the political police 
and ultimate suppression. Moreover, the people were being kept in a 
state of distress because of Soviet requisitions for the Red Army and 
reparations. 4 

These trends, the American government decided, could not be com- 
bated or reversed unless there was a thorough transformation of the 
Control Commission. Two main changes were deemed crucial: to limit 
the action of the Commission to the execution of the armistice terms) 
and to procure for the American and British members of the Commis- 
sion as much chance to determine policy as the Soviet Chairman (or 
President, as he was called in some documents). 4 Harriman, in the 
weeks before Potsdam, had not been deterred from urging these reforms 
by Molotov’s coldness or by his studied carelessness in answering let- 
ters on the subject. 

Then on July 12 , just a few days before the conference was to start, 

4 Although ihe American government did not team of it until a month later, the weak 
Hungarian government had on June 1 j been induced by the Soviet government to sign an 
agreement (under Anide la of the armistice) whereby Hungary promised payment of 
aoo million dollar! of reparations in goods aod services over the next six years. This was 
a moderate fine. But it was topped by the Red Army’s direct sciaures of capital equipment 
and stocks, as “war booty,” and its requisitions of food and other supplies. Furthermore 
the Yugoslav and Czechoslovak peoples whom the Hungarians had also maltreated were 
demanding reparations— another »oo million. 

* These were only two of the leading features of comprehensive plans of reorganization 
— drawn up by General Key, American representative on the Commission, and Arthur 
Schoeofeld, the American political representative in Hungary — which guided American 
representations in Moscow and at the Potsdam conference. 

t 190] 

General Voroshilov, the Soviet Chairman of the Control Commission, 
informed his two colleagues of substantial changes in procedure, which 
his government was going to introduce.* These — and the similar changes 
defined in notices sent by the Soviet members of the Control Commis- 
sions in Romania and Bulgaria 7 — could be of real value and enable 
the Western governments to have effective influence. But they were 
ambiguous in some main details. Our representatives in Hungary had 
been of the opinion that unless they were clarified and enlarged, the 
will of the Soviet member would continue to dominate. The proposed 
changes would not in themselves clear the way for free political in- 
stitutions in Hungary, or assure their survival. 

In Romania a coalition government headed by a well-worn politi- 
cian, Retro Groza, had been imposed by Moscow. It included only left 
political parties, and excluded several conservative ones that had sub- 
stantial popular support. Bribes were being offered for the conservatives’ 
cooperation. The king was being cosseted by the Soviet government, 
awarded high decorations and promised equipment for a large army — 
though secretly he was pleading with the American and British gov- 
ernments to help him get rid of the Groza administration. When the 
Americans and British criticized this contrived regime the Soviet gov- 
ernment defended it as democratic and representative. 

What could be done against the will of Moscow? There were a 
million Soviet troops in the country, with the avowed purpose of super- 
vising the armistice agreement. The Romanians were being compelled 
to provide them with food, shelter, and other supplies. Trains were 
carrying off industrial equipment, as war booty or reparations. The 
Russians were acquiring control of many Romanian enterprises trans- 
formed into state monopolies. They were demanding the shares that 
the Germans had owned in Romanian banks and oil companies. 

•Among them were there provisions: i) that the Soviet President (or Vice-President) 
would convoke meetings at least once every ten days, a) that “Directives of the Allied 
Control Commission on questions of principle were to be issued to the Hungarian authori- 
ties by the President or Vice-President . . . after agreement on these directives with 
the English and American representative* 1 ', l) that the latter two representatives and their 
aides were to be allowed to participate in all staff conferences and commissions, and 
4) that they were to be permuted, after advance notice, to travel freely m the country. 
Potsdam Papers, Document 796. 

1 One main difference between the procedure proposed for the Control Commissions 
in Bulgaria and Romania and that intended for Hungary is of interest. In the letter sent 
to the American and British members of the Commission in Hungary the language used 
could be taken to mean that their assent would be needed for decisions on policy, but the 
notice sent to the Western member* of the Commission* in the other two countries *4id tlut . 
the Soviet President was to issue directives after preliminary Jitciumnj^tiOiSeaS: 

[ 191 ] 

The Soviet government had an actual need for these requisitions of 
Romanian supplies and resources. But its combined impositions would 
lead to the destruction of private industry throughout the country and 
the impoverishment of the wealthier groups— many of whom had been 
Nan supporters and sympathizers. Thereupon the elements that were 
attached to Moscow would the more easily grin control. And since 
Romania would not be able to enter into trade or financial relations 
with Western business interests or governments, it would be dependent 
on the Soviet Union. 

While these conditions were being brought about, the American and 
British members of the Control Commission were not being consulted 
about interpretations placed on the armistice agreement or the measures 
taken to compel compliance with Soviet demands. Most aggravating 
was the refusal of the Soviet member of the Control Commission, 
General Susrikov, to give them any information on the arrival, loca- 
tion, or length of stay of the Russian troops in Romania, even though 
they were being housed and fed by the Romanian government. 8 But, 
as in regard to Hungary, the American and British members of the 
Control Commission had been informed, a few days before the Potsdam 
conference began, that the future procedure would be more to their 
satisfaction. The American member advised the State Department that 
perhaps, but only perhaps, he would henceforth have a chance to com- 
pel discussion of offending policies. 

In Bulgaria, Communist control was being imposed by similar 
methods. The American and British members of the Control Commis- 
sion in that country had not even been able to find out what was being 
done in their name. The American and British political representatives 
in the country had also been ignored. Loud and angry, almost to the 
verge of hysteria, were their drily reports to Washington concerning 
repression and brutality by Communist elements while the Soviet 

8 The Romanian gov eminent that had negotiated the armistice agreement had tried 
at the time (September 1944) to secure a definite stipulation that Russian troops would 
leave Romania after the end of the war with Germany. But it was told that this was 
unnecessary Cnee, as Molotov expressed it, “What the Romaniana wanted was implicit in 
the whole Contention.” The Romanians did manage, howeter, to have it recorded in the 
minuttt of negotiations that it was “unnecessary to add to the proposed articles ” because 
it was “a matter of course” that the Soviet armies would ‘leave Romanian soil at the end 
of hostilities.” 

At the time Harriman had predicted to Washington that the armistice arrangements 
would mean that the Soviet High Command would obtain unlimited control of the eco- 
nomic life of the country and police power throughout the land— at least during the 

[ 191 1 

mentors watched passively. Thus they had scrutinized with scathing 
mistrust the Soviet notice of changes to be effected in the procedures 
of the Commission. They were sure that the changes had been con- 
ceived only to blunt Western complaints at Potsdam and to fool the 
American and British governments into acceptance of the existing 

In short, the American effort before Potsdam to bring about drastic 
reforms in the operative methods of the Control Commissions, and to 
head these three satellites toward representative democracy, had failed. 
But the Americans could at least refuse to condone what was being done 
by denying recognition to the regimes that had imposed themselves 
under the shield of the Red Army. 

The British government, while viewing the scene in these countries 
of eastern Europe in much the same way as the American, did not 
have faith in the effectiveness of our policies. Would the mere refusal 
of recognition prevent the extension of Communist control? It did not 
think so. Why not then grant the desired recognition and go ahead as 
fast as possible to conclude peace treaties with these former satellites? 
By so doing, the rule of the Control Commissions would be ended and 
the withdrawal of Soviet forces hastened. 

But American officials, both in the local capitals and in Washington, 
had not been persuaded. It was their belief that if the regimes in power 
were recognized, all resistance to Communist control would soon fade 
away. They had girded themselves to argue in the conference at Pots- 
dam for basic reforms in the constitution of all three Control Commis- 
sions, and basic reorganizations of all three governments. They had in 
mind a program similar to that for Poland. 

The British Foreign Office had let the State Department know it 
would “come along behind us” in our efforts to win Soviet acceptance 
of this program — but with a candid statement of disbelief in its success. 
There was little reason to think that Stalin would agree to it; and 
no reason to think that he would subject Soviet policies and actions 
toward these satellite countries to the approval of the United States 
and Great Britain. Any attainable measure of reorganization of the 
Centred Commissions, the British forecast, would he ineffective. And 
anyway, when had these peoples ever of themselves gone in for repre- 
sentative democracy? So, with a shrug, the Foreign Office had given 
the State Department to understand that when it went aground, the 
British group at Potsdam might again advocate the other course. 

[ 193 ] 

P assin g notice ought to be taken of another cause of American dis- 
pleasure over Soviet policies in these countries. American financial in- 
terests in them were being dispossessed, and the chance of Americans 
to carry on trade with them was being foreclosed. 

In Romania and Hungary the Soviet masters had trundled away 
capital equipment (especially oil refinery and transport equipment) 
owned in whole or in part by Americans (or British or French or 
Belgians). They had maintained that they could properly do so be- 
cause the equipment had been used to serve Nazi Germany, and be- 
cause much of the existing plant to which the Western investors claimed 
ownership had been built by the Germans. They had similarly defended 
their demands upon American (or British or French or Belgian) owned 
companies to provide reparations for Russia out of current production. 
The American government had protested these practices as rough 
depredations of American property. It urged that removals of capital 
equipment belonging to Americans cease, that the equipment already 
taken away be returned, and that the enterprises be relieved of the 
obligation to make current deliveries. 

In the trade field American objections were directed against the secret 
agreements that the Soviet government had signed with the obedient 
governments of Romania and Bulgaria. These governments had ceded 
to the Soviet Union command over the economies of their nations. 
Russia would get most of their exports and would control their pro- 
duction of raw materials. Through joint government monopolies, in 
which the Soviet government was to have a half or greater share, the 
Russians would run the most important branches of industry: oil, 
lumber, metals, water and rail transportation. These newly formed 
monopolies were absorbing properties that had been wholly or partly 
owned, before the war, by Americans, British, French, and Belgians. 

Such was the riddled ground onto which the conference entered 
when our efforts in behalf of Italy became linked with Soviet efforts in 
behalf of the governments of these three smaller satellites. 

The contest centered on two texts, the one submitted by the Americans 
regarding Italy, the other by the Russians regarding the satellite 
states. In order to secure Soviet assent to the adoption of a benign policy 
toward Italy, Truman and Byrnes were willing to agree that a start be 
made on the preparation of peace treaties for the satellites. They were 
also ready to assent to easing the controlling armistice terms. But Stalin 
and Molotov wanted more. The premium they asked was diplomatic 

t J94] 

recognition of the existing governments. That the Americans were not 
then willing to pay. At the end of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 
Heads of Government on July 21, after a traveling circular argument, 
it was agreed to pass by the question. In effect this meant that the de- 
termination of future events in Italy fell to the West, and in the other 
satellites to the Soviet Union. Both were to be a continuing subject 
of mutual accusations. 

Similarly, the American effort at Potsdam to win consent for the 
admission of Italy into the United Nations was matched by a Soviet 
effort to secure advantage for the satellites. 

The American government had wished to announce — without wait- 
ing for the conference at Potsdam — that it would favor the admission 
of Italy into the United Nations. On July 15, the better to qualify, the 
Italian government had declared war on Japan, former companion in 
the Tri-Partite Pact. The State Department had hastened to tell the 
Bridsh Foreign Office that it would “accordingly announce on July 17th 
(Tuesday) the intention of the United States Government to support 
officially Italy’s admission into the World Security Organization,” and 
that it hoped the British government would “feel able to support this 
decision.” On that day, the opening day of the conference, the British 
Embassy in Washington left at the State Department (and a Foreign 
Office official gave to a State Department member of the American 
delegation at Potsdam) an aggrieved acknowledgement. Such short 
notice of American intention, and on a more or less take-it-or-leave-it 
basis, was deemed inconsiderate. The proposed action was thought to 
overlook the close connection between Italy’s admission into the World 
Security Organization and the question of making a peace treaty with 
Italy. Could the action not be suspended, the Foreign Office asked, 
until the question could be discussed at Potsdam?* The Secretary of 
State heeded the protest. He decided to submit the statement in mind 
to his allied associates at Potsdam, and to invite the Soviet government 
to join in it. 

Byrnes did so in a proposal that began, “The Three Heads of Gov- 
ernment will support the entry of Italy into the United Nations.” 1 * 
Eden asked whether they ought not add the phrase “on the conclusion 
of peace.” Molotov asked whether the admission of Italy should not 
be conditioned also on its payment of reparations. And in subsequent 

• Potsdam Papers, Documents 143 and 722. 

10 l bid , Document 727. 


sessions of the Foreign Ministers he urged that the other satellite states, 
which had since become co-belligerents, be included. Had they not 
done more to win the war than neutrals like Switzerland or Portugal, 
which were to be admitted, or than Italy, which was to be admitted 
after the conclusion of peace? By this test, perhaps, they qualified 
equally. But by another they did not. Byrnes and Eden firmly main- 
tained that there was a genuine difference that debarred the other 
satellites. To grant them admission would be to recognize their existing 
governments, which were not, as the Italian government was, representa- 
tive of political opinion in their countries. They bluntly asserted that 
for this reason the American and British governments would not 
recognize them, make peace with them, or support their admission into 
the United Nations. This hot argument between the Foreign Ministers, 
ignited at their session of July 24, died down when Molotov asked 
that the question be referred to the Big Three, for they were “more 
reasonable people than we” and would “find a way out.” 

Thereupon the Big Three took over the question, discussing it later 
that same day. Stalin spoke like a patient man provoked. By treating 
the other satellites like “leprous states” the Western nations were dis- 
crediting the Soviet Union. He contradicted Truman’s and Churchill’s 
criticisms of their governments, asserting that they were as democratic 
as the Italian and closer to the people, and as willing to grant access 
to American and British agents as Italy was to admit Russian agents. 

Churchill rather than Truman bore the brunt of Stalin’s pressure. 
When the Prime Minister averred that freedom had re-emerged in 
Italy while in the satellites the British representatives were “penned” 
within an iron fence, Stalin said without raising his voice: “all fairy 
tales.” Truman was inclined to end the altercation by acceding to a 
proposal made by Molotov: that each of the three governments be 
obligated to consider soon, for itself, the resumption of diplomatic 
relations. But Churchill would have none of it. He thought that if 
this and nothing more were said, the very real differences between the 
West and the Soviet Union would be concealed, and the world would 
receive a false impression of the British and American attitudes. Stalin 
argued that it was inconsistent to agree, as the three of them had by 
then, to start work on peace treaties with these countries, but to refuse 
them recognition. Not so, said Churchill; the treaties might be put in 
shape, but the British government would not conclude them except 
with governments resting on popular consent, meriting recognition. 



So the talk spun on, more and more confusingly. No one would 
want now to follow its wearisome turns. 11 

The conference was lurching toward its close, with the Western allies 
and the Russians still frontally separated on two issues of deeper im- 
port for Europe than that of the satellites: what Poland’s western 
frontiers were to be; and what reparations were to be exacted from 
Germany, and under what system. In a private talk with Molotov on 
the afternoon of July 30, Byrnes came forward with what was called 
a “package proposal,” about which more will soon be told. In it there 
was included, as one of its three elements, a new text concerning the 
course to be pursued toward Italy and the smaller satellites. There 
evolved, after much more wasted debate over clauses and phrases, an 
approved version that was included in the Protocol. 

What this seemed to say in its involved parts was (x) that the three 
conferring allies favored the preparation of a peace treaty for Italy, 
and its admission into the United Nations after the treaty was con- 
cluded; (2) that the Council of Foreign Ministers should also pre- 
pare peace treaties for the other satellites, but they would not conclude 
them with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania until these countries had 
“recognized democratic governments.” Support for their applications 
for membership in the United Nations would follow. But others may 
find fault with this extraction of the text’s meaning. 19 

As an item of historical bookkeeping, if for no other good reason, 
it should be noted that the Americans countered the Russian efforts to 
win recognition for the existing governments in the smaller satellites 
by requests that the Soviet Union honor an earlier promise to join in 
transforming those governments. 

This promise, the American authorities thought, had been made at 

11 Byrnes retraced them for the Heads of State at one of their later plenary sessions, on 
July a8. First, the American government had asked support for the admission of Italy 
into the United Nations. Second, the British had asked the resolution to be extended to 
include all neutrals in the war except Spain) we had agreed. Third, the Soviet government 
had insisted on a provision about the admission of the other satellites — different, however, 
from the one on Italy, we had agreed but the British had not. Fourth, we had been 
asked to change the language about Italy to conform to that about the other satellites) 
again we had agreed but the British had not. “Unfortunately, we £nd that when we 
agree with the Soviets, the British disagree, and when we agree with the British, the 
Soviets disagree.” Potsdam Papers, Cohen Notes. 

12 Let the reader try for himself. The text is Section IX, entitled “Conclusion of Peace 
Treaties and Admission to the United Nations Organization,” in the Protocol, printed in 
Supplementary Note 7. 

[ 197! 

Yalta, on acceptance of the Declaration on Liberated Europe. In the 
proclaimed creed, Stalin had joined Roosevelt and Churchill in an 
avowal that the policies of the three allied governments would be con- 
certed in an effort to help both liberated countries and satellites to 
solve their problems by democratic means, and to aid them in steps 
toward the formation, after free elections, of governments responsive 
to popular will; and the three had 3 grced to consult when necessary 
in discharging these joint obligations.** 

The Soviet government had brushed by this hedge of phrases as it 
went on its way to lordship over the smaller satellites. Those in the 
State Department who had believed in the covenant watched with deep 
indignation. They had tutored Truman in the growing record of dis- 
respect for both the terms and the concepts of this memorial of Roose- 
velt’s hopeful purpose. 

Before the proposal that the Americans submitted at Potsdam was 
formally discussed, Stalin reproached Churchill for supporting what 
was in substance a demand for a change in government in Romania 
and Bulgaria.** After all, he said, he was allowing the British govern- 
ment to manage the affairs of Greece without meddling. This was a 
not-so-oblique way of reminding the Prime Minister that in October 
1944, in the course of a long night of talk in Moscow, the two of them 
had marked out spheres of responsibility in southeastern Europe dur- 
ing the war, whereby Romania and Bulgaria had been assigned to the 
Soviet Union, Greece to Britain. Churchill sought to re-locate the issue 
in broader and later geographic and historical perspective. He called 
the roll of the capitals east of a line from the North Cape to Albania 
which were in Russian hands. Did that not look as though Russia were 
rolling on westward? Stalin denied any such intention, saying that on 
the contrary he was bringing back his troops from the west as fast as 
railway cars could be found to carry them. 

In subsequent discussions between the Foreign Ministers, Molotov 
led a counter-offensive directed against Greece. In that country, he 
averred, terrorism ruled, not law, democratic elements were being op- 
pressed, and Albania and Bulgaria threatened. Why not a recommenda- 
tion to act at once to establish a genuinely democratic government in 
Greece? "When Eden denied the statements as “a complete travesty of 
the facts,” pointing out that all the world could go to Greece and see 

13 The text of the Declaration is in U.S. Dept, of State, 37 'ie Conference t at Malta and 
Yalta, pages 977-78. 

** Trmmfh end Tragedy, 6j6-}7. 

{ 198 ] 

what was going on, and that the Greek government had invited others 
to observe the coming elections, the Soviet Foreign Minister merely ex- 
panded his accusations to include Italy. 

Byrnes tried to reconcile their differences. With Eden’s warm ap- 
proval he proposed that the three agree to join in supervising elections 
in all five of the countries they had been discussing — in Italy and Greece, 
as well as in Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. At Truman’s wish, the 
provision for “supervising” the elections was softened to “observation,” 
but even then Stalin would not agree to it. He stood firm on the ground 
that such interference in the affairs of the satellites was not called for, 
and would be offensive. 

So all that came out of the Potsdam discussions about the former 
satellite states was an expression of mutual acceptance of the revised ways 
of conducting the business of the Control Commissions in the three 
smaller satellites in southeastern Europe. 1 * These made no difference 
in the long run. The Western governments failed to arrest the gradual 
extendon of rigorous control over these states by Communist sup- 
porters, working in concert with the Soviet government. Old injustices 
and oppressions were being replaced by new ones. The peasants and 
workers would survive, and in some ways have a better life than dur- 
ing former days of party strife and minority domination. But indi- 
vidual freedom and national independence were lost. 

** See te« of Protocol, Supplementary Note 7. 

f 199] 

26. Spain 

Concurrently with this American effort to release Italy from re- 
straints and the Soviet effort to obtain recognition for the new order 
in the eastern satellites, the proponents were also at odds over what 
to do about Spain. That they should have come to differ over this 
question was perhaps a clearer signal than any other that their mutual 
animosity was defacing their common experience. 

Hitler’s Germany was suffering in ruins. Mussolini’s Italy was re- 
pudiating its past. But Franco, who had been helped by them to control 
Spain, and had sided with them as long as he had found it prudent 
to do so, remained in power. His was an avowed dictatorship, relying 
on the army, the police, and one political party to enforce his will. How 
could tolerance for the Franco government be justified while the west- 
ern allies were assailing other governments for suppressing the popular 
will? But how could the regime in Spain be displaced without grave 
risk of another agonizing civil war and of opening the way for Com- 
munists—with cruel and perilous consequences? This was the dilemma 
that the British and American governments faced at Potsdam when 
they were called on by Stalin to condemn and repudiate the Franco 

Stalin directed attention to the situation at the first session of the 
conference. He explained his interest on the score that the Franco 
regime had not originated in Spain but had been imported and forced 
on the Spanish people by Germany and Italy. He spoke of it as a 
danger to the United Nations. For these reasons would they not be 
doing well to create conditions that would enable the Spanish people 
to have the government they wanted? If so, why should Churchill 
and Truman not join him in a recommendation to the members of the 
United Nations to break off all relations with the government of 
Franco, and to enable the democratic forces in Spain to establish a 
satisfactory regime?* 

But both drew back. Churchill expressed distaste for the Franco gov- 
ernment. As reported in the minutes, “He had been misrepresented as 
having been friendly to this gentleman. All he had said was that there 
was more to Spanish policy than drawing rude cartoons of Franco.” He 
recalled that when Franco had proposed to him that he organize the 
western states against “that terrible country, Russia,” he had “sent him 

l He proposal submitted by the Sowet Delegation on July 19 is in Potsdam Paper*. 
Document 1177. 

[ 200 ] 


a chilly reply.” But Churchill thought that if they took the step pro- 
posed by Stalin it would so arouse the proud and touchy Spanish peo- 
ple, who were now deserting Franco, that they would come to his 
support. The breaking of relations was not a satisfactory process. He 
was ready to take every measure by all proper diplomatic means to 
speed the departing guest. But he was not ready to use force, as might 
be necessary if this reproof was disregarded $ and he would deplore 
anything that would lead Spain into another civil war. In short, the 
British would be unwilling to intervene actively, as a government, in 
the Spanish affair at this juncture. Forces there were working for a 
change for the better. 

Truman spoke in a similar vein. He had no love for Franco but he 
had no wish to have any part in starting another civil war in Spain. 
The Spanish people must be left to find another government for 

Sulin questioned all the cautionary reasoning. He thought Franco 
was gaining, not losing, strength. He believed that the existence of his 
regime, nurtured by the Axis, was a matter of international, not merely 
Spanish, interest. He denied that his proposal would mean either civil 
war or military intervention. But if the Prime Minister and the Presi- 
dent did not want to be severe, if they were not willing to break rela- 
tions, were they content that everything just be allowed to go on in 
Spain unchanged? Or was there some more flexible means of letting the 
Spanish people know that the three governments were in sympathy 
with them 3nd not with Franco? Silence would be considered approval 
of the dictator. 

Churchill gave other reasons for going slow and being tolerant. 
Britain had an old and substantial trade with Spain: unless he was sure 
that a move would bring about the desired result he did not want to 
risk the loss. Furthermore, while Spain had molested Russia during 
the war, having had the audacity to send a Spanish division to the 
eastern front, it had refrained from taking action against Britain when 
this could have been disastrous. 

Stalin continued to urge that they must say something to indicate 
that the aspirations of the Spanish people were just, and he proposed 
that the Foreign Ministers try to devise a milder measure than his first 
suggestion. Truman said he was willing to have them do so. But 
Churchill was not. He asserted that as a matter of principle he was 
against interfering In the internal affairs of other countries^ and as a 
matter of policy he thought it dangerous — and in this instance likely 
[201 ] 

to rivet Franco in his place. Neither Stalin’s refutations nor Truman’s 
inclination budged him — either at this session or at the later ones when 
talk returned to the subject. In his subsequent account of the Potsdam 
conference Churchill accorded the discussion of Span only a few lines 
and referred to his part most tersely: “I resisted [Stalin’s] suggestion 
and eventually the subject was dismissed.” 3 

But Byrnes, in connection with his attempt to win Soviet approval 
for the admission of Italy into the United Nations, proposed to the 
other Foreign Ministers that the conference go on record that its partici- 
pants “will not support the entry of Spain into the UNO, so long as 
Spain is under the control of the present regime in that country.” 5 
Eden thought the idea good. He suggested that if they recommended 
the admission of all other neutral governments the reference to Spain 
would be more pointed. It was so agreed, and written into the Protocol 
as follows: 

“The three Governments, so far as they are concerned, will support 
applications for membership from those States which have remained 
neutral during the war . . . 

“The three Governments feel bound, however to make it clear that 
they for their part would not favor any application for membership 
put forward by the present Spanish Government, which, having been 
founded with the support of the Axis powers, does not, in view of its 
origins, its nature, its record and its close association with the aggressor 
states, possess the qualifications necessary to justify such membership.” 

This borrowed some of Stalin’s words without giving them the 
decisive effect on action he had sought. By then all propolis for joint 
action to down dictators or up democracies encountered the question: 
whose cause or position would be served, that of the West or the Soviet 

a Triumph and Tragedy, page 654. 

* Potsdam Pipers, Document 750. 


27. Poland: The Consultations before 

If the affairs of any one European country ruled the conference at 
Potsdam, it was those of Poland. The problem of its frontiers was in 
itself enough to dismay any group of diplomats who knew history. 
On the cast they would limit the Soviet Union, on the west, Germany. 
The Soviet Union had been promised the area that had been the 
eastern part of Poland before the war; how much of Germany was 
to be ceded to Poland as compensation? The settlement might end 
the centuries-old struggle between Russians, Poles, and Germans over 
their place in this heartland of Europe, or might lead to its continua- 
tion. But was there any that all three would in time accept as per- 
manent— -since they never had before? 

Whether Poland emerged as a genuinely free and independent state 
would affect the balance of control in central Europe, maybe in all 
Europe, maybe in all the world. The development of its economic and 
social life would infringe on that of all nearby countries. The treat- 
ment of the Germans who had lived in areas that might become part 
of the new Poland would determine how many became refugees to the 
west. Not least significant, the Poles have a long memory and the 
Western peoples an abiding emotional interest in their fate. The United 
States had been midwife at the rebirth of Poland in 1919, and Britain, 
linked to it by a treaty of alliance, had gone to war in its defense. 

The accord reached between Stalin and Hopkins at Moscow, open- 
ing the way for carrying into effect the Polish provisions of the Yalta 
Agreement, had been acted on quickly. 

In contrast to its previous caution, the American government had 
played an alert and vigorous part in the subsequent consultations. The 
British government had been more on guard, lest it become responsible, 
or at least be deemed responsible, for an outcome that would be dis- 
liked not only by most of the Poles but by most of the British people. 
Churchill, in his comment to Truman about the StaJin-Hopkins accord, 
had said only that he agreed that Hopkins had obtained the best solu- 
tion to be hoped for in the circumstances. This reserve had tinged the 
instruction sent by the Foreign Office to Clark Kerr, the British mem- 
ber of the Commission of Three. He was told not to obligate the 
British government, before the talks among the Poles themselves be- 


gam, to any formula regarding the proportion of key positions to be 
given to groups not in the Warsaw government. He was reminded that 
it was essential that any accord be acceptable to British public opinion 
and Parliament; and that the British government should not expose 
itself to the charge of haring followed the Munich pattern by imposing 
on an unwilling people a settlement agreed upon in advance among 
the great powers. 

“We must,” this instruction had affirmed, “above all else, maintain 
the position that the role of the Commission is to act as mediators 
only, assisting the Poles to reach among themselves a settlement which 
can then be endorsed and approved by the Poles. No doubt the settle- 
ment will inevitably be ‘based upon’ the present Warsaw government. 
But so far as public appearances are concerned, it is one thing for the 
Poles themselves to reach the conclusion that this is the logical outcome, 
and quite another for them to be told before they begin their discus- 
sions that this is what they must accept ” 

Behind this wariness was perhaps the same judgment of the Stalin- 
Hopkins accord as that recorded in the reminiscent comment of General 
Anders, Commander of the Polish Forces: “What did all this mean? 
... It was the total surrender of even the semblance of political in- 
dependence.” 1 

Within a week the Commission of Three had issued invitations to the 
list of Poles chosen to come to Moscow to consult.* They were expected 
in three separate groups, one consisting of members of the easting Pro- 
visional Government in Warsaw, the other two of Polish political lead- 
ers who were not affiliated with the government, some of whom were 
living in Poland and others abroad. Harriman and Clark Kerr had 
agreed with Molotov that the Commission might meet first with the 
representatives of the government. It was left to the three Polish 
groups to make arrangements for meeting with each other. 

The Soviet government had seen to it that the members of the Pro- 
visional Government in Warsaw got to Moscow. It had gone to pains 
to make plain its favor and friendship. When President Bierut and his 
colleagues arrived at the Moscow airport on June 13, they were met 
not only by Molotov and Vishinski but also by Bulganin (the Secre- 
tary of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet), the Commandant of 

1 Anders, An Army in Exile, page 174. 

2 They were representative* of the Polish Provisions! Government in Warsaw (B. 
Bierut, E. Osubka-Morawski, W. Kowalski, and W. Gomulka) , democratic leaden who 
were in Poland (W. Witos, Z. ZuUwski, S. Kutrezeba, A. Krzyanowski, and H. Kolodaep 
ski) 1 and democratic leader* from abroad (S. Mikolajoj k, J. Stanrajk and j. Zakowski) . 



Moscow, and other Soviet officials. The next day the Moscow papers 
reported their arrival on the first page, and published pictures of the 
delegates reviewing the guard of honor at the airport. No public notice 
whatever had been taken of the arrival or presence of the two other 

Among those not in the Warsaw government who had been invited 
to come from Poland to Moscow, the most esteemed political figure, 
Wincenty Witos, head of the Peasant Party, had declined. He was not 
well enough to come, he had explained, and this may well have been 
true . 1 His refusal was one more reason why the leader of the group 
that was to come from London, the former Prime Minister of the 
Govcrnment-in-Exile, Mikolajczyk, had wavered about going. He was 
outraged at the detainment of the leaders of the Polish underground 
who had served under his orders, and he foresaw that he would be 
urged to consent to a disliked deal. Then Witos’ refusal to take part 
in the consultations and share responsibility for the outcome seemed 
to him to make his position impossible — in the involved and sensitive 
web of Polish politics . 4 

His reluctance to leave for Moscow unless assured in various ways 
had worried Harriman, the American member of the Commission, who 
feared that without Mikolajczyk’s personal effort and thawing influence 
the Polish groups would not agree. Stalin’s remark that Mikolajczyk 
“has missed the bus every time and will continue to do so” rang in his 
memory. He got the State Department to instruct the American Em- 
bassy in London to do whatever it could to get Mikolajczyk to change 

* Witos had been Prime Minuter of Poland three timet. In 1939 he had been wounded 
by a German projectile, and then taken by the Gcrmani into a Gestapo prison near Pots- 
dam. Becoming dangerously ill there, he had been allowed to return home under guard, 
had managed to escape and join the underground. The Russians had treated him rudely, 
and he was living in poverty when routed out by the Warsaw authorities, who thought 
he might bring them helpful support. They had compelled him to make a five-or-six-day 
automobile trip through various provinces and to Warsaw. Members of the Warsaw 
branch of the Peasant Party, which was under the control of the Provisional Government, 
had urged him to make appearances and statements; but he had refused to do so and bad 
been tent back to his home. 

4 M ikolajez) k had received a secret report from Witos some weeks previously (probably 
before the Hopkins-Stalin accord) telling him that Witos had been consulted by the Rus- 
sians and had been offered the Prime Ministership of a reorganized Polish government and 
six portfolios for hu followers; Witos had answered that the proposal must be made 
through the Moscow Commission, that he would have to consult his party, and that a 
place in the government must be reserved for Mikolajczyk. Mikolajczyk felt that he could 
not ignore such a firm answer by Witos, and that he could not take part in the consulta- 
tions in Moscow without some contact with Witos or other representatives of the Peasant 
Party in Poland. Thu account of hit thoughts is based on reports of Mikolajczyk’* talks 
with the Foreign Office, passed on to the British Embassy in Moscow, and thence to 


his mind. And Hamsun, along with Clark Kerr, secured from Molotov 
a second bid for Witos, along with a promise of special medical care 
and comfort during his trip and sojourn. Then, after Witos had again 
said he could not come, he solicited an invitation to Kicrnik, the Vice- 
President of the Peasant Party. 

Mikolajczyk’s qualms had been overcome. Churchill, despite his 
own morose view of the prospect, persuaded him to go, thinking 
that if he stayed away either the outcome of the consultation would be 
even worse than otherwise, or no accord would be reached — whereupon 
the associates in Communism would govern Poland by themselves. The 
Prime Minister appealed to Mikolajczyk on the basis of his duty as a 
patriotic Pole to use this last chance to play a part in the determination 
of who would govern Poland) and assured him that he could count 
on the support and influence of the British and Americans. According 
to Mikolajczyk, the Prime Minister concluded by saying, “If you back 
out now, 1 will wash my hands of the whole Polish case. 51 * 

On June 15, just before the talks with the Poles began, Molotov 
had told Hardman and Clark Kerr that he thought the Commission 
of Three must make its own point of view dear to the Poles. Clark 
Kerr had demurred, saying that he thought all three of them should 
be very careful) that Molotov would not have forgotten an event that 
occurred in Munich a few years ago, when a settlement was imposed 
on a people against its will) that the Commission must not do anything 
like that. Molotov had pounced. Why was the British Ambassador re- 
minding him about Munich? “Neither the Americans nor the Russians 
were there and Chamberlain is dead.” Clark Kerr had calmly explained 
that his government was opposed to having the Commission do any- 
thing that could be regarded as a dictated settlement. He was sure 
they could rely on the Poles themselves to build a new government 
on the basis of the old one) and he believed it best that they should bear 

s Mikolajczyk, The Pattern of Soviet Domination, page, i j+-jj. la this book Mikolaj- 
czyk purport, to give actual s erbium extracts of bis talk, with Churchill. Among other 
statement, he attributes to the Prime Minister is a remark that the American and British 
government, were then in a better position to deal with Stalin than before, because Stalin 
wanted to get into the war againa Japans and he quote, Churchill as laying: “That’s 
why he— and not tu— asked for the meeting of the Big Three, which will be held in Berlin 
•b. i'd.y . We. -tie in. v. -dart- 'lit fcotit care u he come, ‘into the war agate.', 

the Japanese or not. We don’t need him now.” 

The talk, were in English. No one present was recording the actual word, spoken. 
Presumably Mikolajczyk’, later publUhed account* of these talk, are bawd on memo, 
written by him, or perhap, by someone accompanying him tooa after the talks, rather 
than merely on later recall. 


the onus of doing so. Harriman leaned the same way as Clark Kerr, 
but not so far. He thought his British colleague was being hindered 
by his instructions from London, and compelled to raise issues against 
his own best judgment. Molotov posed as a tolerant negotiator. Since 
all three members of the Commission, he said, agreed to abide by the 
principle of the Yalta accord (whereby the Warsaw government was 
to be the “basis” or “nucleus” of the new), he would not insist on 
bringing that accord to the fore at the first meeting of the Poles. There 
is no risk in surmising that he knew there was no need for him to 
do so. 

With the arrival of the Poles a continuous series of meshed-in talks 
had begun. The three groups conversed with one another, and the 
Commission had long sessions with each group separately and then 
all together. The individual members of the Commission talked with 
each and all. Without devoting scores of pages, it would not be pos- 
sible to trace out the twisted filaments of these related and prolonged 
discussions. I shall not do more than summarize the main views and 
wishes of the protagonists. 

Bierut, a Communist and President of the Warsaw government, and 
Osubka-Morawski, a Socialist and Prime Minister of the Warsaw gov- 
ernment, both avowed that their government, and theirs alone, had the 
allegiance of the Polish people. But they assured Harriman and Clark 
Kerr that in order to receive American and British moral and eco- 
nomic aid they were ready to admit individuals from outside into the 
governing circle. 

The other groups maintained that this was untrue; that the Warsaw 
government was mistrusted by all classes — peasants, workers, and intel- 
lectuals. They were confident that the four Polish democratic parties 
other than the Communist party (the Peasant, Socialist, Christian Labor, 
and National Democratic parties) had far greater support; and that the 
new government would not have a popular basis unless it gave these 
parties places proportionate to their strength. But they recognized it 
was essential that Polish policy be oriented toward the Soviet Union. 
Hence they were willing to compromise to attain at least some semblance 
of Polish independence. Almost all of them hoped that Mikolajczyk 
would be made Prime Minister. Some of them said they would be 
satisfied if the groups not now within the government were given a 
forty percent representation; others thought they ought to be given 
more, and even seemed to believe there was a chance they might ob- 
tain it. 


The members of the Commission of Three had made it dear that 
all of their governments understood that the existing Warsaw regime 
was to have the main part in the new government. Otherwise as far as 
can be learned from the open record, they acted as mediators, or per- 
haps tranquilizers. There is no way of knowing, however, to what ex- 
tent Molotov may have secretly checked any impulse of the Warsaw 
Poles to accord the others a real share of authority. 

On the night of the 2 1st the several groups assembled informed 
the Commission that they had reached an agreement. Bierut read a 
statement setting forth its main points, and on that night and the next 
the Commission discussed these with the Poles* While some were 
quite dear and complete, others were not. The most definite clement 
was the selection of the individuals to be introduced into the govern- 
ment, and the distribution of offices. The members of the Warsaw gov- 
ernment who were in the three most influential posts were to retain them: 
Bierut was to remain as President of the National Council, Osubka- 
Morawski as Prime Minister, and Gomulka as First Deputy Prime 
Minister. But out of the total of twenty Cabinet posts, six were to be 
given to independent Poles. These induded Mikolajczyk, who was to 
become a Second Deputy Prime Minister as well as Minister of Agri- 
culture, and Kiernik of the Peasant Party, who was to become Minister 
of Public Administration. Two of the other influential outsiders, Witos 
and Grabsld, were to become members of the Presidium of the Polish 
National Council. 7 This was to be made more representative by the 
indusion of other prominent Poles. 

To this allocation of offices to named persons, there may have been 
added a vague promise, a slip of a promise, that in the ultimate out- 
come men who had once been or still were associated with the Peasant 
Party and the Socialist Party would fare as well as those connected with 
the Workers Party (Communist).* 

• A* far as I have been able to find out, this statement has not been published and I 
have not seen a copy of it. In the course of the discussion Bierut remarked that it had 
been hastily prepared, and though it had been accepted in principle, he thought it ought 
to be carefully revised. At the end of the meeting all agreed that, after review, it should 
be published as a communique of the Commission. 

7 The Polish National Council was the supreme legislative organ in Poland, and was 
to function during the period before the election of a regularly constituted parliament. 
IX bad been conceived that it would select the President, who in turn was supposed to 
choose the other members of the government. A small, carefully chosen Presidium exer- 
cised the power of the Council in the intervals between its meetings, and had dominating 

* On this point the report that Harriman sent to Washington (June a i) reads as follows: 

“There are some additional understandings on which agreement has been reached in 

principle only, such as that the National Council shall be reorganized to extend fair repre- 

[ 208 ] 


There were also allusions to various other principles that were to 
be observed in the further stages of reorganization, and to the policies 
that the resultant government should be obligated to carry out. The 
historian must screen these for himself, for they arc buried under the 
gravel of unsystematic and at moments incoherent talk — poorly re- 
corded. Summing them up negatively, it may be said that no group 
explicitly denied: that the new government was to proceed as swiftly 
as practicable to hold elections on the basis of universal suffrage} that 
all democratic parties would be allowed to participate in these elections 
without hindrance} that the elections were to be fair and with a secret 
ballot} that all groups were to have freedom of assembly before the 
elections} or that there was to be an amnesty for most, if not all, persons 
accused of political offenses within Poland. 

On one matter that was introduced into the discussions on these two 
nights (June n and zz) all the Poles were of the same mind. Mem- 
bers of all three groups spoke in sponsorship of the most extensive 
territorial claims. 

Mikolajczyk had taken the lead. He said he understood that by 
joining in this accord and entering in the government, members gained 
the right to give expression in the name of the Polish nation to the 

tcntation of the different parties represented in the government and that the men for the 
under-ministerial posts shall be selected in the same proportion as the distribution of tbc 
ministerial posts. 

“The fundamental basis of the reorganized government is that the Workers Party, 
the Peasant Party and the Socialist Party shall each have sis portfolios, and two are to be 
held by other democratic parties.” 

But study of the records of the discussions on the nights of the list and und, and of 
the subsequent talks with the various groups of Poles, leaves me uncertain whether the 
Warsaw government group actually committed itself to any such future rearrangement 
of offices. 

Mikolajczyk, pages 140-43, gives the tezt of wbat he terms an “internal agreement” 
by which the Provisional Government “might” be guided until the elections. While not 
explicitly saying so, he consejs the impression that the three Polish groups, including 
that representing the government at Warsaw, approved it. But there is no reference to any 
such detailed written accord in the American minutes of discussion with the Commission. 

The text published by Mikolajczyk stipulates that the Peasant Party was to have a one- 
third share in all branches of the government, but makes no similar provision for the 
Socialist Party. This and other features suggest that the “internal agreement” may have 
been all or part of a proposal made by Mikolajczyk and some of his associates, rather than 
a confirmed accord among ai'i the Poles. 

At the end of his comments on the general accord announced on the night of the list, 
Mikolajczyk, according to the minutes, asked Bierut to confirm their understanding on 
the principle of proportional representation of the parties in the widening of the National 
Council. Bierut’s answer was inconclusive, if not evasive i he merely repeated that it had 
been decided to expand the National Council by including representatives of political ele- 
ments who wished for a new democratic Poland. 

[ 209 ] 

demand that the western boundaries envisioned at the Yalta Confer- 
ence be recognized by the great powers. He asked Bierut to confirm, 
this. Bierut did so with gusto. From his reference to the recognition in 
principle at Yalta of the need for extending Poland toward the west, 
Mikolajczjk progressed to the conclusion that the only just settlement 
would be one awarding Poland all the land extending to the Oder and 
Western Neisse rivers. 

Clark Kerr, after reading the Yalta formula aloud, had pointed out 
that the final decision on the boundary question would have to awast 
the peace conference. The Prime Minister of the new government, 
after recognition, would have every chance to press its claims. Molotov 
said that the Soviet government stood on the Yalta decision j it con- 
sidered that Poland’s wish to have all the lands extending to the line 
of the Oder and the Western Neisse was fully justified and well 
founded. Harriman remarked merely that he had nothing to add to 
the words of the Yalta derision. On the next day, when Gomulka, the 
Chairman of the Political Committee of the Warsaw government, 
asked him what the American government thought of Polish western 
boundary claims, particularly the inclusion of Stettin in Poland, Harri- 
man said merely that they would have to be talked over by the three 
powers and settled at the peace conference. 

Both he and Clark Kerr warned their governments to anticipate that 
at Potsdam they would be confronted by the same claims. 

Having heard the report, and the exuberant avowals of all partici- 
pants that they intended to cooperate for lasting unity, the members 
of the Commission had made their responses. Molotov seemed to 
Harriman to be elated over the outcome. Clark Kerr said at once that 
the British government would accept the agreement the Poles had 
reached, and when they formed the new government would swiftly ac- 
cord it recognition. But then, and in later interviews with the Poles, 
he stressed that these promises were dependent ones— dependent, that 
is, on the assumption that the new government would be “properly 
formed” in accordance with the Yalta accord, and that it would hold 
elections of an impartial kind in which all democratic parties would have 
the same cfvuvce. to strive tor vrAts and office. Harriman tried hard to 
get definite confirmation that the Warsaw government group was obli- 
gated to carry out not only the one feature of the accord that was 
plainly recorded (that providing for the introduction of named per- 
sons into the government) but also the other principles that had been 


fused vaguely into the description of the accord. But all he could ex- 
tract from Bierut was, rather than a lucid pledge, a rambling puff of 
assurance: that, after this agreement, all would strive to achieve lasting 
unity and to hold free elections and continue the broadening of legis- 
lative organs that had already begun. Molotov tried to check Harri- 
man’s quiz of Bierut and his group, on the score that it was not fitting 
to inquire into the affairs of the Polish government. Thus upheld, 
Bierut became pert, ending Harriman’s probing by saying he was sure 
the accord was firm and the Poles could settle these questions without 
allied interference. 

At the end of the session with the Poles Harriman had said to them 
that if President Roosevelt were alive he would be very happy indeed 
over the agreement they had reached. But in the report he sent to 
Washington after this meeting (on the 22nd) he indicated that he 
knew that the accord was murky and frail. He told of Molotov’s ob- 
jections to his attempt to clarify the verbal understandings. This he took 
to be a clue that the Soviet government might resist our future efforts to 
assure free elections. The Poles who had come from Poland but were 
not in the government had emphasized to him, he added, that only 
if the American and British governments maintained a close watch 
could they hope for reasonable personal and political freedom. 

After the three members of the Commission had approved the lean 
and awkwardly phrased communique about the results of the consulta- 
tions, it was released, at midnight on the 22nd. Ail it did was to detail 
the contemplated changes in the composition of the Polish government. 
Nothing was said about any other features of the compact. Had the 
Poles or the three members of the Commission tried to reduce them 
to writing it is probable that the accord would have gone up in smoke. 

Because Roosevelt had been lured by Stalin to agree to the Yalta 
formula — by the assurance that the Provisional Government would 
hold elections within a few months — and because the later default on 
this assurance was so crucial, more ought to be told of the efforts of 
Harriman and Clark Kerr to get positive promises before the Poles 
left Moscow. 

On June 26, at a press conference at the Polish Embassy in Moscow, 
Gomulka, First Deputy Prime Minister, was asked whether the ex- 
pected elections in Poland would be run on the basis of a united demo- 
cratic bloc (Communist style) or on an individual-party basis. He an- 
swered that this question would be settled by the parties themselves 

in the course of cooperation, and that each of the parties would be free 
to unite with others if any so wished. He was asked when these elections 
would be held. He said that was to be derided, taking into account 
primarily the return of Poles from abroad, of whom there were sev- 
eral million.® Mikolajczyk professed himself to be satisfied with these 
answers. But he made known his intention to do what he could to 
have the elections held soon, for he was not eager to have all the Poles 
who had taken Soviet nationality come back into Poland and vote 

On the evening of that day, Clark Kerr, in a final talk with Bierut, 
returned to the subject. Since the British government attached great 
importance to the pledge about elections, would he not see to it that 
in one way or another all doubt was dissipated? Bierut squirmed. He 
said that although the Provisional Government fully intended to hold 
elections, it should not appear that this was due to foreign pressure. He 
said he would probably reaffirm publicly that he himself, and the regime 
he headed, accepted the Yalta derision in its entirety— that is, including 
the election pledge. That was all he could be brought to say. Nor had 
Harriman managed to break through this barrage of virtue-tinted pro- 
fessions. “He could not be pinned down,” Harriman informed Washing- 
ton. In informing the State Department of his frustration, Hamman 
advised it to hold up recognition until it actually knew what the new 
government was to be. 

All of the Polish leaders, even those who were in the existing Warsaw 
government, had been outspoken, it might almost be said profuse, in 
their profession of a longing for friendly relations with the West, above 
all with the United States. They competed in their presentation of the 
hope that Poland would receive from the United States relief and aid 
in its economic tasks. 

Harriman had inferred that all the Poles were eager to have a loan 
from the United States. He advised the State Department to consider 
starting talks at once about a small credit that would enable Poland to 
buy some of the equipment it needed most for reconstruction. In this 
way, he thought, we might enhance our influence on the political scene 

* It could be honestly argued that a short delay was justified if the elections were to 
express the preferences of all the Poles. At least tn o million Poles who had lived in Poland 
before 1959 wc re still abroad— in Germany, England, Italy, and the Soviet Union. Those 
in the Soviet Union, having come from the eastern sections that were being incorporated 
into the Soviet Union, had been treated as Soviet citizens, but they were being given the 
right to reacquire Polish nationality. A migration of Poles into German Pomerania was 
taking place. The western frontiers of Poland had not jet been defined. 

[ 212 ] 

in Poland, particularly in regard to carrying out truly free elections. 
He urged some other striking gesture, as for example sending to Poland 
several hundred American trucks that were in Germany, or bringing 
quick relief help through UNRRA and the Red Cross. Harriman was 
afraid that if the American government seemed to be taking its time 
about coming to the help of the country, this could lessen its influence. 
Bicrut, he noted again, had affirmed his wish for close and friendly re- 
lations with the United States, and he added: “While I cannot predirt 
to what extent the Russians will attempt to put a brake on Polish desires 
for open contact with the west, it is my feeling that Bierut is sincere in 
his statement.” 

The State Department had resolved to make friendliness plain by 
showing a ready will to help the new Poland. It authorized the recently 
appointed American Ambassador, Arthur Lane, to tell the Polish au- 
thorities that the American government would see to it that the contem- 
plated UNRRA program of relief to Poland, a very substantial one, was 
carried out; that while it could not grant a loan at once, because of a 
legislative ban, it would look for ways by which Poland could pay for 
its needs by exports, especially of coal; that it would supply Poland 
with one thousand surplus army trucks; that it would be glad to negoti- 
ate a new trade treaty with Poland; and that it would welcome in the 
United States a mission of Polish technicians and economists to tell us of 
Polish wants and study our methods of production. These were to be 
our proofs of trust. 10 

The chief members of the Provisional Goi r ernment for National 
Unity had flown back from Moscow to Warsaw on Russian transport 
planes on June 27. On the next day the membership of the government 
was announced. Fourteen of the twenty-one top posts were allotted to 
men associated with the existing Warsaw government. Two new cabinet 
posts were created. The authority of one of these, the Ministry of 
Forestry, assigned to a Communist, overlapped with that of the Ministry 
of Agriculture and Land Reform, to which Mikolajczyk had been 

This was short measure. Even so, Harriman had thought that the 
new members of the government might have some influence, and that 
they had been wise to accept the best they could get. He was bothered 
by the fact that the new government was retaining a separate Ministry 
of Internal Security, for this was evolving into a secret police on the 

10 Potsdam Papers, Document ja j. 


Russian model. All in all, however, he reckoned that there was a fair 
chance, if the American and British governments continued to take an 
active interest in Polish affairs and were generous in their aid, that things 
might not work out too badly. 

The new government had taken office on the night of June 28. 
Osubka-Morawski, the Prime Minister, sent messages at once to Truman 
and Churchill, announcing its formation. He repeated the broad formula 
with which Bierut had parried Harriman’s and Clark Kerr’s queries 
about the prospects for free elections: that the new government recog- 
nized in their entirety the Yalta decisions on the Polish question. 

A troublesome error had been noted in the text of the announcement 
sent out by the Polish Prime Minister. During the consultations with 
the Commission, Bierut had done his best to get Harriman and Clark 
Kerr to agree to the omission of the word “Provisional” from the title 
of the new government They had refused, on the score that this was the 
designation used in the Yalta accord and they could not depart from 
it, pending the holding of elections. Bierut had appeared to accept this 
verdict. But in the message to Truman the word “Provisional” was 
omitted. In calling the attention of the State Department to the “slip,” 
Harriman reported that the Moscow press was similarly forgetful in 
referring to the new government. He at once got in touch with the 
Polish Ambassador in Moscow and told him that the American govern- 
ment still insisted that the word be retained. At midnight on the 29th 
a member of the Polish Embassy, speaking for the Ambassador, said 
that a serious mistake had been made and that the message should In- 
clude the word “Provisional.” 

President Truman had decided that no useful purpose would be 
served by delaying recognition. So on July 2 he proposed to Churchill 
that they act at once and together. Churchill objected to such haste. He 
explained why the British government needed more than a few hours’ 
notice. It had to work out honorable arrangements with the abandoned 
Polish government in London, for its members and its large staff, which 
still ran an army of 160, OOO men and was entitled to a little time to 
advise all its employees. The British government also needed time to 
decide what was to be done about the Polish military forces that had 
fought with, the allies. Thus Churchill asked Truman {or a brief post- 

On July 5 they had simultaneously announced recognition of the new 
Polish Provisional Government of National Unity. In this and in 
various connected messages and statements they introduced references 


to the prescribed pledge to hold free elections. These, on purpose, im- 
puted high value to a guarded promise, a pledge to which the Warsaw 
authorities were refusing to affix a date. 

The new government had been well received by most Poles. Even 
the liberal-conservative circles about the University of Cracow spoke 
of it in a friendly fashion, though the response from groups such as this 
was due less to enthusiasm than to recognition of the need for social, 
political, and territorial change, and to fatigue left by the war, Nazi 
occupation, and tension with Russia. 

By the time the Potsdam conference met, it could be expected that the 
true intentions of the new government that had emerged from the Mos- 
cow consultations would have been more dearly revealed. Churchill’s 
impression of the result — which he had accepted — was that it was a 
failure. As summoned up in his later memory, it was: “We were as far 
as ever from any real and fair attempt to obtain the will of the Polish 
nation by free elections. There was still a hope— and it was the only 
hope— that the meeting of The Three,’ now impending, would en- 
able a genuine and honorable settlement to be achieved .” 11 

But even in the brief fortnight between the granting of recognition 
and the gathering at Potsdam there had been signals that this hope was 
going to prove empty. 

11 Triumph and Tragtdy , pagt* jl J-t*. 


28. Poland: Debate on General Questions 

Stalin at Potsdam was as bent as Churchill or Truman on discussing 
the affairs o£ Poland, for he was not sure that the Prime Minister would 
deprive the forlorn groups of Polish officials in London of all influence 
and perquisites. Therefore, at the session of July 18, he proposed that 
the three of them resolve to sever all relations with the abandoned 
Government-in-Exile ; to enable the new government to take over all 
Polish property abroad; and to see to it that the Polish armed forces 
outride the country, and Polish naval and merchant vessels, come under 
the orders of the new government. Not only the men but their equip- 
ment, supplied by the British and the Americans, were wanted. 1 

To Stalin this course was but a routine march to a set political pur- 
pose. But to Churchill it would be a sad and cruel ending of a close and 
moving association. At the conference table his memory flared into a 
vivid review of what the Polish and British nations had gone through 
together; of how well the Poles who had come west and their dead 
comrades had served. He recalled how the British had given a home 
to the Poles when Hitler drove them out: the effort made and expense 
Incurred in supporting the Polish refugees; the training of the Polish 
aviators, who had fought with reckless valor over the air of Britain 
when it was alone; the formation of the Polish army corps which had 
gone through the campaigns in Italy and Germany. The survivors, 
who numbered about 200,000 men “front and rear,” 2 the British govern- 
ment was resolved to treat in a way the world would approve. At which 
point Stalin, untouched by guilty memories, uttered a hearty “Of 

Churchill said he had told the House of Commons that if there were 
Polish soldiers who had fought on the British side and did not want to go 
back to Poland, they would be taken into the British Empire, but British 
policy was to persuade as many of these men as possible to return. 
Hence he had been angry when he learned that General Anders, a good 
soldier, had told his Polish troops that if they went home they would 
probably be sent to Siberia. Anders would not be allowed to continue 

'Potsdam Papers, Document mo. 

* Eden, in a note he sent to Byrne* at Potsdam on July 17, sobmittmjf the text of * 
joint Three-Power statement about future political developments in Poland to be issued 
at the end of the conference, estimated that there were some 150,000 Poles on British soil 
and in the armed force* under British command. Potsdam Papers, Document »»«*• 

[ 2 * 6 ] 

to make such hurtful statements.* The British government would con- 
tinue to encourage both Polish soldiers and civilians to return to their 
liberated homeland. But they needed and deserved a little time. Of 
course, the better affairs went in Poland, the sooner they would go 
home. If the new Polish government would assure them of their recep- 
tion “in full freedom and under appropriate economic conditions, that 
would be of great help. He would like them to feel assured in returning 
to their home which had been freed by the victory of the Red Army. 
The Foreign Ministers might discuss this matter.” 4 As for Polish prop- 
erty', the Govcrnmcnt-in-Exile controlled little and the new government 
was welcome to that. There were the frozen gold reserves — but these 
would in normal course be turned over to the Central Polish Bank. 

Stalin adopted an easy tone. The British, he commented, had sheltered 
the former rulers of Poland and yet these men had caused the British 
much trouble. All the Soviet government wanted to do was to put an 
end to this situation, for the reactionary remnants of the old govern- 
ment were still conducting their activities, through agents and the press. 
Churchill said he agreed. But in Britain individuals— and that included 
members of Parliament— were not stopped from talking because they 
lost office or their funds were cut off. After Mikolajczyk had resigned, 
neither he himself nor Eden had seen the members of the old govern- 
ment. Still, what was to be done if they wandered through the streets 
and talked with journalists? About the Polish army they had to be 
careful lest there be mutiny and possible bloodshed. “The British had 
the same objectives as the Soviets. They asked for help and a little time 
and also that Poland be made an attractive place for the Poles to return 

Truman said he could see no real difference between Churchill and 
Stalin. But he also was interested in the Polish question. What was 
being done about the agreement reached at Yalta for the holding of free 
and secret elections as soon as possible? Stalin did not tell him. 

In that state this whole muster of questions about Poland was con- 
signed to the attention of the Foreign Ministers. They toiled over them 
for the next three days. The result — to cut the story short — did in some 

3 Actually, it may be inserted, a few days earlier General Anders, Commander of the 
Second Polish Corps, Italy, and Field Marshal Alexander had agreed that the Polish 
soldiers under Anders’ command — some 110,000 of them— would be given a free choice 
as individuals to decide whether or not to return to Poland, and had promised to do every- 
thing possible to expedite the repatriation to Poland of those who chose to return. Potsdam 
Papers, Document 1113. 

* Ibid., Minutes, Second Plenary Session, July 1*. 


measure reward on paper the efforts made by Eden and Byrnes. But 
later events were to prove that the fractures of purpose had merely 
been taped over by diplomacy, not healed. 

Eden and Byrnes advocated that the new Provisional Government 
be asked to affirm definitely that those Poles who returned home would 
enjoy the same personal and property rights as other citizens. MolotoV 
maintained that this might be offensive to the Poles; that it was enough 
to say that the three powers “expected” that the returning Poles would 
have such equal rights. In the final statement, since Stalin had insisted 
that the sensibilities of the new Polish rulers must be so respected, the 
point was written this way. 

Eden and Byrnes proposed that a dear recording be made of the 
understanding that the Provisional Government was pledged to hold 
free and unfettered dcctions on the basis of universal suffrage and 
secret ballot, in which all democratic and anti-Nazi parties would have 
the right to take part and put forward candidates. Molotov objected on 
the score that this language was not in accord with that of the Yalta 
agreement.* Moreover, he pointed out, when the new Polish govern- 
ment was formed it had given this pledge. Conduding correctly that 
small turns of language would not make any actual difference, the 
Americans and British agreed that the final draft might say instead that 
“The Three Powers note that the Polish Provisional Government in 
accordance with the derisions of the Crimea Conference, has agreed to 
the holding . . .” Eden and Byrnes had wished to add a sentence ex- 
pressing the hope of the three powers that “the elections will be con- 
ducted in such a way as to make it dear to all the world that all sections 
of Polish opinion have been able to express their views freely, and thus 
to play their full part in the restoration of the country’s political life.” 
This was turned down by Molotov as unneeded and unpleasant for the 
Polish government, since it showed mistrust. 

The most stubborn struggle was over the wish of the Americans and 
British to have it stated that the representatives of the allied press 
would have unrestricted freedom to report on developments in Poland 
before and during the elections. Vishinsky and Molotov said that since 

s Tht pertinent sentence of the English-language Yalta agreement read: “The Folisf> 
Provisional Government of National Unity shall be pledged to the holding of free and 
unfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot.’’ 
As lus already been told, the new Provisional Government, on receiving recognition, had 
promised to carry out all the provisions of the Yalta accord. 


so little time had gone by since the end of the war, the Poles would 
find it difficult to accord “unlimited” freedom to the press, but that as con- 
ditions changed, greater freedom could be given. They argued, however, 
that this was a Polish question, which could not be decided without the 
Poles. As expressed by Stalin when the issue came before the Heads of 
Government at the Plenary Session on July 21: “The Poles are very 
touchy and they will be hurt. They will suspect us of accusing them of 
being unwilling to accord a free press.” Therefore, would Churchill and 
Eden not be a little more amenable and omit this requirement, especially 
since foreign correspondents were in Poland now and were enjoying full 
freedom ? No, answered Churchill; in fact, he hoped to strengthen the 
affirmation on this point, not weaken it. 

In the end, however, it was probably not Churchill’s firmness but 
Truman’s plea that budged Stalin. “There are six million Poles in the 
United States. A free election in Poland reported to the United States 
by a free press would make it much easier to deal with these Polish 
people.” And besides, it seemed to him that “the Polish Provisional 
Government knew that the Three Powers would expect the press freely 
to report the elections and would expect this matter to be raised.” With 
a small change in language— in deference to Polish pride— the state- 
ment was preserved. 

Both Churchill and Truman seem to have thought that the accord 
about these matters provided as much chance for a free and independent 
Poland — friendly to the West as well as to Russia — as could be had by 
words. MikoJajczyk, in Potsdam at the time, seemed to his Western 
friends sometimes hopeful, sometimes downcast over the prospect. He 
thought it essential to maintain sympathetic working relations with his 
Communist associates. But he was fearful over what was going to happen 
— once the new government felt safely in control. 

Up to the eve of his departure from Potsdam, Churchill tried to make 
Bierut and his companions realize how deep and genuine was the British 
interest in having this program carried out in good faith: that Poland 
should be a land where personal and political liberties were respected, 
where there would be freedom of opinion, of press, and of religion. 
And when Attlee and Bevin took the place of Churchill and Eden, they 
likewise did all they could to keep the Poles and their Soviet mentors 
reminded that they were pledged to these liberating precepts and meas- 


Overstepping the ordinary boundaries of this narrative, it may be told 
that on the basis of this accord the British authorities, as quickly as they 
could properly do so, broke the few remaining threads of official con- 
nection with the Polish Government-in-Exilc. They arranged for the 
transfer of Polish assets under British control to the new regime. They 
urged all Poles, civilian and military, with whom they were in touch to 
return to Poland. The Warsaw government beckoned these back with 
welcomes and assurances, but only a small number returned. Though 
homesick and hard put to it to find a new place to settle and work to do, 
most of them chose this harder path. Of those who had served in the 
armed forces under British command, many gladly accepted the offer of 
British citizenship." 

* The taddest of alt at the dissolution of the Poliah Go\trnment-in-Exile, to which 
they had betn faithful during the war, and at the accept a nee of the new regime rponwred 
by Morcow, were General A nderx and the (area Out had fought under him ia the harJeu 
campaign*. He writes (page ala): “There came quite luddcnly in the afternoon of 
August to unofficial report* of the end of the war with Japan. For a second time we Pole* 
were unable to »hare in the glorioua moment* of \iciory. London, alwayi w *ol>er and 
steady, wa» going crary with rejoicing. Huge and excited crowd* flocked down the StranJ, 
pait the Savoy Hotel, where I na» Haying. t could undentand their merriment but »** 
unable to take part in it. I felt a* if I were peeping at a ballroom from behind the curtain 
of an entrance door through which 1 might not pao. How often in an officer** me« at the 
front had we dreamed of the final moment* of the war and of our joyful return home. 
How different wa» thi* day.” 

[ 220 ] 

2 9* Poland: The Struggle over Frontiers 

As soon as the three Heads of State, in a gust of amiability, approved 
the “Statement on the Polish Question,” on July 21, they fell to about 
Poland’s western frontiers. The Poles of all political colors were at one 
in wanting the line of the Oder and Western Neisse rivers. They were 
already there, and the Russians were determined that they should stay 
there. But before telling of the argument over the western frontier, we 
may pause to note the quick fixation of the northern limits. 

As far back as December 1943, at Teheran, Stalin had said he would 
accept the Curzon Line as the Soviet-Polish frontier only if the Russians 
also received the northern part of East Prussia, running along the left 
(the southern) bank of the Niemcn River, including Tilsit and the 
Baltic port city of Konigsberg. The Soviet government, he had said, 
deserved this ice-free port and this piece of German territory. More- 
over, this acquisition would contribute to security against future assaults 
for it would “put Russia on the neck of Germany.” Neither Churchill 
nor Roosevelt had at the time denied this claim. From then on Stalin 
had taken it for granted that the Soviet Union was to keep this area, 
into which a large Soviet army afterward thrust. 

On July 23 at Potsdam the Soviet delegation presented a proposal 
calling for a decision of three governments that “pending the final 
settlement of the territorial questions at the Peace Conference, the part 
of the western border of the U.S.S.R. adjoining the Baltic Sea should 
follow the line from the point on the western shore of Danzig Bay 
indicated on the map annexed hereto, eastward-north of Braunsberg- 
Goldap to the junction of frontiers of the Lithuanian S.S.R., the Polish 
Republic and former East Prussia.” 1 The rest of “former East Prussia” 
was being assigned by common consent to Poland. 

At the Plenary Session that day Stalin repeated his reasons for want- 
ing this area: the need for an ice-free port on the Baltic at the expense 
of Germany,* and the wish to give satisfaction to the millions of Russians 
whom the Germans had caused to suffer. 

Both Truman and Churchill at once agreed in principle to the trans- 
fer of territory. But Truman sard he wanted rime £0 study the details 

1 Potsdam Paper*, Document 1020. 

2 The Soviet Union already had two ke-frec ports on the Baltic. These were Windau 
(or Ventspils) atnd Libau (or Liepaja), in what had been Latvia before that country was 
absorbed as a unit of the U.S.S R. But these were farther to the north and probably more 
easily blockaded. 

[221 ] 

of the Russian proposal. And Churchill pointed out that the language 
had several other implications. It would lead to an admission that East 
Prussia no longer existed and that the area was not under the authority 
of the Control Council for Germany. It would also commit the British 
and American governments to recognize the absorption of Lithuania 
in the Soviet Union. These, he thought, were matters that really should . 
not be settled before the peace conference. Well then, said Stalin, all 
the Soviet government would ask at this time was that the British and 
American governments give and record their approval, and promise to 
support the transfer at the peace conference. To this Churchill and 
Truman assented. 

In the search for a mutually acceptable phrasing of this understanding, 
for entry into the official record, a snag was met. How was the exact 
line to be determined between the part of former East Prussia that was 
to go to Russia and the part that was to go to Poland? The Soviet 
government thought it ought to be established by the experts of the 
Soviet Union and Poland alone, without outside surveillance.® But 
Attlee and Bevin insisted that this was a matter for all the United Na- 
tions to determine, not merely the two border countries. Byrnes once 
again acted as conciliator. He proffered an interpretation of the pertinent 
clause which would allow the two countries to try first to settle the 
question between themselves. Only if they disagreed would the experts 
of the United Nations be called in. So it was settled at the last session 
of the conference, after agreement had been reached on Poland’s west- 
ern boundary . 4 

little or no effort was wasted to save the face of principle in this 
northern profile — but much was spent in trying to preserve it in the 
west . 5 

* According to Mikolajczyk, page 159, Bicrot and Osubka-Maravcski, who were to 
become President and Prime Minister of the Provisional Government, had made a secret 
agreement with Stalin as early as July aj, 1944, defining the frontier line; and Stalin 
subsequently browbeat them into keeping this agreement. 

4 The paragraph* dealing with East Prussia and the northern frontiers of Poland will 
be found in the Protocol, Supplementary Note 7. 

6 Another frontier adjustment that had taken place before Potsdam, about which the 
wertern allies were not consulted at all, was the agreement tigned on June 19 by Fierlinger, 
the Czechoslovak Prime Minister, consenting to retention within the Soviet Union of the 
Sub-Carpathian Ukraine. This had formerly been a section of Czechoslovakia, and had 4 Vy U-cmgaiy in * Vafi never Wn part oi fcusria. Vet in the agreement, 
the transfer of territory was called “a return** to the Soviet Union. As remarked in the 
Ecancmiu of July 7, 19+j, “It is more correct to say the incorporation of the Sub- 
Carpathian Ukraine is merely the last episode in the ‘collection’ of all Ukrainian landi 
by Generalissimo Stalin.” At Potsdam neither Churchill nor Truman asked Sulin about 
this transaction. 

[ 222 ] 


The American and British governments were well aware that the 
Soviet government would support the full claims of the Poles. Were 
these not conceived as direct compensation for the loss of territory to 
the Soviet Union? In May the Soviet authorities had assigned to Polish 
control that segment of the Soviet zone extending to the Oder and the 
Western Neisse, and Molotov had met with excusing evasions the strong 
protests made by the British and American governments against this 

Then on July 7, two days after the new Polish Provisional Govern- 
ment was recognized, General Zhukov, at the second meeting of the 
Kommandatura for Berlin, had left no doubt that the resources east 
of the line formed by the Oder and the Western Neisse would not be 
available for Berlin or the western sections of Germany. He had based 
his assertions on the ground that Germany did not exist, and that every- 
one knew that the Yalta conference had fixed the Polish frontier along 
that line. 1 This, of course, was not so. 

The Foreign Office, a few days before the start of the Potsdam 
conference, had submitted to American officials ideas for two alternative 
positive courses.* It was convinced that time would only aid the Poles, 
with Russian support, to establish themselves permanently in all the 
territory east of the Oder-Neisse line. Thus if the British and American 
governments contented themselves with putting their views on record 
while postponing settlement of the frontier, future troubles would be 
increased and the Soviet government would have been allowed to flout 
the authority of the Control Council over Germany. 

The British government, continued the memo, was seriously opposed 
to the line advocated by the Poles. It could scarcely be expected that 
British public opinion would lastingly support a settlement that ampu- 
tated about one-fifth of Germany, in which about ten million Germans 
had formerly lived. Such action would prove to be a formidable ob- 

* The vigorously worded memo that Ken nan, as ashed by Grew, had given to Vishinsky 
on May t stated that in the opinion of the American government the changes disregarded 
the principles of the agreements on zones of occupation and control of Germany. “The 
Government of the United States,” it concluded, “wishes to make it clear that the free pty 
of Danzig and occupied German territory now subject to Polish administration . . . 
remain in fact enemy territory under Soviet military occupation, and must be held as such 
pending the conclusion of such agreements and understandings as may be reached after full 
and complete consultation and deliberation between the Allied powers concerned.” Potsdam 
Papers, Document jio, fa. 4. 

* ibid.. Document 419. 

* In almost identical memos given by the British Embassy in Washington to the State 
Department on July r j and by the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Afiain to As- 
sistant Secretary of Slate Dunn on July 14 in Potsdam. 


staclc to the maintenance of European peace. Certainly it would with- 
draw this large area from the authority of the Control Council, exclude 
it as a source of both reparations and supplies needed for western Eu- 
rope, and give undue advantage to Poland and Russia. 

Taking into account the reasons for not simply leaving the question 
in suspense, and the objections to the frontier sought by the Poles, how 
might the British and American governments offset the Soviet-supported 

The Foreign Office memo proposed that one way, the most promis- 
ing way, would be jointly to state at Potsdam what the British and 
Americans regarded as a reasonable boundary, and hold fast to and for 
it. Poland should be allowed to acquire the Free City of Danzig, East 
Prussia south and west of Konigsberg, the Oppeln district of Upper 
Silesia, the eastern part of Pomerania — and no more.® This was roughly 
the frontier line favored by the State Department. 1 ® If the French 
government also assented, they would agree to transfer of the territories 
east of such a frontier to permanent Polish administration, subject to 
ratification at the peace conference. 

The memo continued that the other course to which the two govern- 
ments might resort — if the Soviet government refused to join them w 
getting the Poles to accept this delineation of Poland’s western limits 
— would be to state, first, that they would not give their formal consent 
to the transfer to Polish administration of any parts of Germany except 
those that all four controlling powers were prepared to allow Poland to 
acquire permanently} and second, that if the Soviet government turned 

8 Before the war the city of Danzig had been a Free City under a High Coramisjioner 
appointed by the League of Nations, almost all it* inhabitants were German. The Oppein 
district of Upper Silesia included the area awarded to Germany in 1911 after a plebiscite, 
it was a main source of coal, zinc, and iron and steel production. There German* were 
in the majority. The eastern part of Pomerania (east of the Kreuz-Dramburg line) wa* 
one of the poorer farm sections of Germany, containing many Junker estates. Much of the 
work on these was done by migrant Polish labor. To Poland this area would bring a 
greatly extended sea frontage on the Baltic. 

,8 A» described in the Briefing Book paper dated June 19, 19+5, prepared for the 
Potsdam conference: “On Polish claim* against Germany this Government agree* that 
East Prussia (except for the Konigsberg district) , the former Free City of Danzig, German 
Upper Silesia and a portion of eastern Pomerania should be ceded to Poland.” 

The Stale Department believed, however, that the British government wa* pledged to 
support the transfer of greater areal. "The American Government would prefer that other 
German tetcvtai-As tast sif \lit Gitt feoold remain German, However, fee BrlU&> 
agreed to the cession to Poland of all territory east of the Oder and thl* Government would 
probably not wish to stand out alone if the Russian* insist on thi* point.” The State De- 
partment had in mind Churchill’s talk with Stalin in Moscow in October 194*, a* reported 
by Harnman. See U.S., Dept, of State,. The Conference: at Malta and Yalta, page *03. 
Foreign -at regard this promise as rigid or official. 

The British Foreign Office apparently d: 

over other areas without their consent, thus reducing the capacity of 
Germany as a whole to pay reparations, the British and American 
governments would be compelled to insist on a proportionate reduction 
in the Russian share of reparations. Or they might go even further, and 
state that if a satisfactory agreement was not reached about this frontier, 
the western allies would not permit the transfer of any products from 
their zones in Germany to the Soviet Union, by way of reparations. 

The American group of advisers at Potsdam had been impressed by 
the reasoning in this British memo, but at the start of the conference 
they Were not willing to adopt either of these two positive courses. They 
were still loath to agree to the firm fixation of any frontier line before 
the peace conference met. Principle was at stake; the Polish vote in 
the United States was at hazard; and the Senate was on guard. Nor 
did the Americans then see what good could come of threatening the 
Soviet government with reprisals. So the British memo was read, noted, 
and filed. The American tactic was first to explore the possibility of 
compromise, merely raising the question without revealing our attitude 
toward the Soviet wish to secure for Poland the line of the Oder 
and the Western Neisse. 11 

Before the Heads of Government got round to the issue, they received 
identical letters from Bierut and from Osubka-Morawski, the President 
and Prime Minister of the Polish Provisional Government. These said 
that it was the unanimous and inflexible will of the whole nation that 
Poland’s western frontier be one “that follows, beginning in the South, 
the former frontier between Czechoslovakia and Germany, then the 
Lausitzer [Western] Neisse river, then runs along the left bank of the 
Oder, and leaving Stettin for Poland, reaches to the sea west of the 
town of Swinemunde.” 1 * This boundary would be just, said the letters, 
and would assure successful development of the Polish nation, security 
to Europe, and lasting peace to the world. 

Truman sailed boldly into the subject in the Plenary session on July 
2i. He had just finished reading the authoritative report from General 
Groves on the impressive result of the test of S-i in the New Mexico 
desert. The ensuing discussion was of such historical moment that its 
main trail ought to be followed with care. 

Germany (within its 1937 frontiers), the President said by way of 

11 Memo of Dubrovr talk with Middleton of the British Embassy, July 13, Washington, 
Potsdam Papers, Document ;i8. Memo from Dunn to Byrnes, July jj, Babelsburg, Ibid., 
Document ;ao. 

12 Ibid,, Document 1134. 


introduction, was to have been occupied by the three of them, and their 
troops were now disposed within the allotted zones. But it now appeared 
that the Soviet government was, on its own, awarding Poland a separate 
zone. He Was friendly toward the Polish Provisional Government, and 
full accord could probably be reached on what the Soviet government 
wanted. But, he concluded, it ought to be achieved by consultation. 

Stalin’s response would do credit to any advocate. Had not the Dec- 
laration at Yalta stated that Poland should be ceded territory to the 
north and west of its former frontiers? Had it not stipulated that the 
reorganized Polish government would at a suitable time consult with 
the three main allies about a final settlement of the western frontiers? 
Had not the Polish Provisional Government made known its views? 
Why then should this conference not state its opinion, final decision of 
course being left to the peace conference? Moreover, he continued, it 
was not quite accurate to say that the Soviet government had given the 
Poles a zone of occupation without consultation. True, the American 
and British governments had protested the admission of Polish admin- 
istrators in certain areas before the boundaries were settled. But the 
Soviet government could not heed them, for the Germans in these areas 
had fled westward while the Poles had remained. The Red Army had 
needed a local administration to maintain friendly order behind its 
lines, but did not want to run it. Should it have set up a German ad- 
ministration, which might stab it in the back? Anyway what harm had 
been done, since Poland was to receive territorial cessions in the west 
and only Poles remained? 

Now the full effect became plain of the failure to foresee what would 
happen if Poland’s frontiers were not fixed before the war ended. No 
ordinary way was left to prevent the Russians and Poles from pushing 
too far westward. But perhaps the Soviet government would exercise 
restraint if it was made to realize that it would have to pay for its sup- 
port of the Poles. 

This Truman hinted, pointing out that if the Soviet government re- 
leased part of its zone to the Poles, the German capacity to pay repara- 
tions would be reduced. Of that aspect of the decision Stalin professed 
scorn. The Soviet Union was not afraid of this, and if necessary would 
renounce reparations. Then with a straight face he went on to remark 
that everything the President had said was “interpretative.” Although 
Poles were in charge of the administration of part of the Soviet zone, 
the western frontier question was open; the Soviet Union was not ob- 
ligated. “You are not?" asked Truman. “No,” answered Stalin. Still, 
Truman flatly said again that the Soviet government ought to have kept 


been forced to serve in Germany as seasonal workers or to migrate 
abroad. The coal and minerals would be needed to make up for the 
losses to the Soviet Union of rich farm land and the oil fields of Galicia. 
The area ought and must not be partitioned, for unless Poland controlled 
the whole basin of the Oder River and its tributaries, the Germans 
might cut off the river flow. Stettin must be included because it was the 
natural sea outlet for Silesia, and the only adequate and sufficient port for 
Polish imports and exports} having itf, Poland could become a great tran- 
sit area for the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. Moreover, the fron- 
tier sought would be the shortest and easiest to defend, especially since 
Germany would have lost the terrain in the east in which it had prepared 
its earlier assaults and which had provided resources for its great arma- 
ment industry.*® 

To this assembly of arguments various other members of the group 
contributed— not least among them Mikolajczyk. Gone were the thoughts 
that had caused him to protest so bitterly to Churchill and Roosevelt 
before and after Yalta: that if Poland were shifted to the west, Com- 
munism would travel with it; and that Poland would have to obey 
Moscow, for the new western frontiers, containing so much of what had 
been Germany, would be a lasting cause of German enmity. He spoke 
as though he had come to agree with Stalin and Bierut — that the change 
would improve the prospect for peace since it would take away from 
Germany the means of aggression. 1 * 

18 The cession of this area «o Poland — in addition to East Prussia, Upper Silesia, and 
other territory east of the Odei— would reduce the Polish-German frontier to around 
150 miles, facilitate Potish-Czech communications, and provide Poland with primary 
railroad lines from the Baltic southward through Breslau. Bie rut’s contentions at Potsdam 
corresponded with the reasoning in the written statement that the Polish Provisional 
Government had presented to the British and American governments soon after they 
recognized it. This read in part. “The Odra-Nisa frontier, the doing away with the nest 
of the Junker tradition in East Prussia, will mean the liquidation of a convenient flact 
d’armei making possible German aggression against Poland. Putting an end to East 
Prussia and making the [German-Polish] frontier line . . . considerably shorter (about 
3 jo kilometers) will greatly facilitate defense. ... It will mean the removal of the 
German wedge that existed between Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1939. Thus it may serve 
not only in regard to Poland, but also to the Soviet Union, and the whole Slavonic world, 
as the best rampart against the cver-possible German aggression." Potsdam Papers, Docu- 

17 Insight into Mikolajczyk’* purpose may be had from one of three memos he gave 
Harnman with a special reguest that his name be not associated with them. This ckei 
other and different reasons why Biernt’s request ought to be approved at once- to encourage 
the Poles east of the Curzon Line to come west before they perished •, to stimulate the 
return of Poles from abroad, the sooner to have elections; to speed the day when the 
Soviet armies would leave; to enable Poland to normalize its economy and protect its 
independence. The author was no doubt aware that these reasons would appeal to the West, 
and they did. lbtd. t Document 1137. 

[ 230 ] 

rounds, it crept into their talk in connection with the transfer of popula- 

Once again Churchill voiced his worries. The Poles were thrusting 
millions of Germans out of what was part of the Russian zone into the 
British and American zones. He did not think this ought to be done 
without heeding the effect on the food supplies for the whole of Ger- 
many and the chance of obtaining rc^irations from Germany. And once 
again Stalin spoke as though what was taking place were out of his con- 
trol; he remarked merely that it ought to be appreciated that the Poles 
were taking revenge on the Germans for injuries suffered over the cen- 
turies. Whereupon Truman said, “We don’t want to pay for Polish 
revenge.” 1 ® He repeated that up to then there were only four zones of 
occupation in Germany, that none had been allotted to the Poles, and 
if they were to have one they were responsible to the Soviet Union for 
it. He wanted to be as helpful as he could but his position was that the 
frontier should be fixed at the peace conference . 20 It is hard to tell 
whether his repetition of these positive remarks was intended merely as 
a rebuke, as a way of confirming his opposition to Polish claims, or 
as a record useful at home. In any case they left the subject as much in 
the air as before. 

Since this was Churchill’s last chance before he left for London, 
he flung himself back into the discussion — without avail. The question 
of how far the Poles were to advance to the west, he said, lay at the 
very root of the success of the conference. If it dispersed in discord 
over this issue, the Poles in effect having been admitted as a fifth oc- 
cupational power and with no plan for sharing food supplies equally 
among the German people, the meeting would have been a failure. 
Then all of them would have to hold on to everything in their respec- 
tive zones in Germany, since he could not agree to an arrangement that 
would mean starvation in the British zone and the most fireless winter 
of the war. His animation drew from Stalin a cold set of answers: the 
Germans ought to pay, by exports, for the food they received; they 
could do so and also make reparation; and if the British needed to 
produce more coal in England they might use German prisoners of war 
in the mines. 

Actually, both contentions were unreal — Churchill’s., because even 
if the Poles were willing to share what was produced in the area they 
wished to acquire, they would have little coal or food for the rest of 

1# Potsdam Papers, Cohen Notts. 

80 Potsdam Paper*, Minutes, Plenary Session, July aj. 

[ 232 ] 

gave the Poles a reception — on the night of the 27th. The Marshal re- 
peated his vows of support for Polish claims. Bierut toasted Stalin. 
Osubka-Morawski toasted Molotov. Mikolajczyk expressed his grat- 
itude to Stalin and Molotov for their aid, and according to his memoir 
of the occasion, Stalin turned to him just before the reception ended, 
and said: “I know that you still have doubts and do not believe that we 
sincerely want the Polish people strong, free, independent and truly 
sovereign. You will see, after we have worked longer together; you will 
become convinced of our intentions.”* 3 

A concurrent and hardly less vigorous argument had been going on 
over German reparations; and as the two proceeded they became more 
explicitly connected. Thus on this same day (the 27th), in a talk that 
ended gruffly, Byrnes told Molotov that Soviet approval of the alien- 
ation to Poland of German territory — a large and productive part — 
was one reason why he and the British were switching over to a different 
kind of reparations plan. Instead of all three sharing in what could be 
had from all of Germany, it would have to be each from its own zone, 
with possible barter between them. 

After Attlee returned, Truman briefly and gloomily reviewed with 
him the two disputed questions. Then as the only way perceived of 
bringing the conference to what could be regarded as a successful end, 
he boldly offered to bargain off Western concessions on the one for 
Soviet concessions on the other. But that will be better understood and 
judged after we have followed the flow of talk and decision about 
German matters, and listened in on the envenoming dispute about what 
was to be taken from Germany as reparations. 

23 potjdim Papers, Document ljJS. 

I -3+1 

gave the Poles a reception— on the night of the 27th. The Marshal re- 
peated his vows of support for Polish claims. Bierut toasted Stalin. 
Osubka-Morawski toasted Molotov. Mikolajczyk expressed his grat- 
itude to Stalin and Molotov for their aid, and according to his memoir 
of the occasion, Stalin turned to him just before the reception ended, 
and said: “I know that you still have doubts and do not believe that we 
sincerely want the Polish people strong, free, independent and truly 
sovereign. You will see, after we have worked longer together j you will 
become convinced of our intentions.” 21 

A concurrent and hardly less vigorous argument had been going on 
over German reparations; and as the two proceeded they became more 
explicitly connected. Thus on this same day (the 27th), in a talk that 
ended gruffly, Byrnes told Molotov that Soviet approval of the alien- 
ation to Poland of German territory — a large and productive part — 
was one reason why he and the British were switching over to a different 
bnd of reparations plan. Instead of all three sharing in what could be 
had from all of Germany, it would have to be each from its own zone, 
with possible barter between them. 

After Attlee returned, Truman briefly and gloomily reviewed with 
un the two disputed questions. Then as the only way perceived of 
ringing t e conference to what could be regarded as a successful end, 
he boldly Offered to bargain off Western concessions on the one for 
Soviet concessions on the other. But that will be better understood and 
j gc a ter «e have followed the flow of talk and decision about 
an matters, and listened in on the envenoming dispute about what 
was to be taken from Germany as reparations. 

Document ,jt|. 

[ 234 ] 

30. Germany: The Crucial Questions 

The central reason why the three Heads of Government had found 
it necessary to confer was that while they were bound to control Germany 
in combination, they had not yet agreed on the common policies to be 

Early and late the negotiators, in the effort to formulate these, be- 
came snagged on the question: for the particular purpose in mind, what 
areas were meant by the name “Germany”? A preliminary supposition, 
a starting mark for discussion, was essential. Let it be, the three agreed, 
the Germany of 1 937 — that is, Germany before it absorbed Austria and 
Czechoslovakia. As has already been told, they almost immediately 
reduced that area by approving the division of East Prussia between 
Poland and the Soviet Union and the cessions of segments of Germany 
in the east and north to Poland. 

Had France been as strong at the end of the war as the Soviet Union, 
it too might have been able to make effective its wish to detach from 
Germany and affiliate to France areas along their frontiers. But it had 
neither the diplomatic influence needed to persuade, nor the military 
means of defiantly taking what was wanted. Thus the requests that de 
Gaulle had made of the American and British governments were left in 
suspense. Neither sponsored them at Potsdam. 

But the Russians thought they could be turned to advantage. Ivan 
Maisky, former Soviet Ambassador in England and member of the 
Reparation Commission, proposed at a meeting of the Economic Sub- 
committee on July 20 that as a security measure the Ruhr industrial 
district, containing some four million people, be internationalized 
under the control of the four powers — which would regulate its produc- 
tion “more or less permanently-” He said his ideas about detail were 
still fluid, but a plan might be prepared for the Foreign Ministers and 
Heads of Government. The others did not respond. 

Possibly because of the crunching argument over the German-Polish 
frontier in the east, the Soviet group did not revert to this proposal 
until agreement on that other issue neared. Then on July 30 Molotov 
gave Byrnes and Bevin a more precise written proposal: that they agree 
to the creation of an Allied Commission of the Four Powers to admin- 
ister the Ruhr industrial district as a part of Germany, under the direc- 
tion of the Control Council. And at the next meeting of the Heads of 
Government on the following day, Stalin urged the endorsement of 


resistance in the west while continuing to fight on furiously in the east. 
Perhaps— who was to know — the Soviet government was reckoning 
that if Germany were kept whole, and the awful destruction went on, 
it might be easy to bring the whole country under Communist domina- 
tion later on. Whatever the reasons, the tone of the Soviet press and 
propaganda seemed to change during the last part of March and early 
April. Threats of extreme revenge were no longer heard. The Soviet 
leaders disavowed any attempt to destroy the German people, and be- 
gan to open the way for a less punitive approach to the German masses 
after the war. 

Thus it had come about that the committee that had been set up at 
Yalta to study the procedures for dismemberment (Eden as chairman 
with William Strang as deputy, and the American and Soviet Ambas- 
sadors in London, Winant and Gusev) talked over its assignment only 
long enough to agree that it had been canceled. On March 2 6, when 
the committee at last turned to the question, all three members had been 
diffident. The British member, William Strang, had prepared a paper 
for the occasion, a statement describing what he thought the com- 
mittee’s assignment to be. Whether by intent or not, this statement was 
expressive of a policy. It slanted toward the conclusion that the coalition 
should regard partition as a measure of last resort— to be considered 
only if the various control measures in mind for Germany were not 
deemed adequate to prevent German aggression. On that basis the only 
work that the committee need take in hand was the study of possible 
separate states and the measures that would have to be taken to assure 
that partition would be permanently effective. 

Gusev, on accepting this statement as a basis for discussion in the 
committee, had said that the Soviet government also understood that 
under the Yalta decision dismemberment was not an obligation but a 
measure to bring pressure on Germany in order to render it harmless 
if other methods failed.* Strang corroborated this interpretation. 
Whether or not correctly, Winant took Gusev’s observation to mean 
that the Soviet government was no longer bent on dismemberment, and so 
advised Washington. In commenting on Winant’s report of this meet- 

Tbe available sources of information about this discussion in the Committee on DIs- 
jMmbfjmfsi ait not cl ear or tadsfortorf- At far at I Jcnow, no asctiutes were kept, f hive 
not been able to locate Winant 1 * report to Washington. This account is derived from a 
State Department memo submitted by Grew to the Cabinet Committee of Three (Stct- 
tinius or Grew, Stimson, and Formtal) on March 29, and from Lord Strang’s reminis- 
cent account in Home and Abroad, page y. 


jng, Roosevelt said, “I think our attitude should be one of study and 
postponement of final decision.” 4 

The impression that the Soviet government had renounced the idea 
had been reaffirmed when Stalin said in his victory speech, on May 9> 
“The Soviet Union celebrates victory, although it does not intend 
either to dismember or to destroy Germany.” When Hopkins was in 
Moscow he had asked Stalin whether this meant a change in Soviet 
policy since Yalta. Stalin’s answer showed that his version of what had 
happened at the meeting of the Committee on Dismemberment was 
different from the one Winant had conveyed to Washington. First he 
indicated he had been influenced by the fact that subsequent events 
had implied that his proposal in regard to dismembering had in effect 
been rejected at Yalta. He understood that in the meeting of the com* 
mittee, Eden and Strang, on behalf of the British government, had 
interpreted the Yalta decision not as a positive plan for dismember- 
ment, but as a threat to hold over Germany in the event of bad be- 
havior; and that Winant had interposed no objection, although Gusev 
had done so. Hence he had concluded that both Great Britain and the 
United States had decided not to go through with this operation. 
Hopkins said this was not his understanding of the Yalta decision, and 
“he knew that President Truman was inclined towards dismemberment 
and in any event was for the detachment of the Saar, Ruhr and west 
bank of the Rhine under international control.”* Hopkins agreed with 
Stalin that the British government was against dismemberment, but 
said he believed it would favor the separation of these areas in the 
west. The President, he thought, would want to thrash out these sub- 
jects when they met. Stalin said he would be glad to do so. 

Who is to know whether Hopkins was correct in his explanation of 
Truman’s thought at this time; or whether he was unaware of the 
changed trend of judgment in Washington; or whether he was trying 
to keep alive the project of dismemberment, on which he and Roosevelt 
had agreed, in face of the wish of others to let it expire? 

In any case, by the time the conference met at Potsdam both Ameri- 
can and British official opinion had become set against any forcible parti- 
tion of Germany. Truman did not at Potsdam try to revive the idea. 
In the prolonged flow of talk about the treatment of Germany, only one 
passing reference was made to it. That was when Stalin, on presenting 

4 John L. Snell, War Time Ori&iiu of lit Eatl-WtU Dilemma over Germany, page 

4 Potsdam Paper*, Document a5, Bohlen memo, Stalln-Hopkins talk, May aS, 1945. 

[= 3«1 

government may have been dimmed by time, a brief summary of the 
main features of Truman’s proposal will serve as a reminder. 4 They 
will serve not only as a reminder of the conception that then prevailed, 
but also of the extent to which they were repudiated, as former friends 
in war became foes in peace. 

1) The Germans were required to submit unconditionally to the 
orders of the Control Council and Zone Commanders. 

2) Germany was to be completely disarmed and kept disarmed; 
all military forces were to be disbanded and forever forbidden. 

3) National Socialism, was to be extinguished as a government, a 
party, or an ideal; and all Nazis were to be removed from public 
and semi-public office, and from responsible positions in important 
private undertakings. 

4) All Nazi laws and decrees that contained discrimination on 
grounds of race, creed, or political opinion were to be nullified. 

j) Individuals accused of war crimes and atrocities were to be prose- 
cuted before a jointly formed tribunal, and those found guilty were 
to be punished. 

6) The formation of a central German government was to be in- 
definitely postponed. But the Control Council might use central Ger- 
man administrative machinery for economic activities of national scope. 

7) The German political structure was to be decentralized, and local 
responsibility developed. 

8) All political parties except those of a Nazi character were to be 
allowed to function freely. 

9) Education in Germany was to be controlled and directed in 
ways to further democratic ideas and forms of government and society, 
and eventual peaceful cooperation with other countries. 

10) Steps were to be taken to assure freedom of speech, of the press, 
of religion, and of trade-union organization — subject to allied control 
for reasons of security. 

To follow point by point, step by step, the evolution of this Ameri- 
can proposal into the text adopted by the Potsdam conference would 
lead us into a book-long thicket. Actually this first statement was os 0 
whole approved by all three conference groups as a fair fusion of their 
Ideas. All reaffirmed their wish to have in all Germany the same policies 
and practices, and to have these so inscribed in the statement of political 
principles that “so far as practicable, there shall be uniformity of treat- 
ment of the German population throughout Germany.” This declaration 
♦Tie foil lex? of Troman’t propoul h in Potsdam Papers, Document Sji. 


corresponded with the genuine intentions of each and all of its several 
sponsors in one aspect but not in another. They were roughly of one 
mind as regards the suppressive elements in the program for control 
of Germany. But they were apart in their conceptions of the new so- 
ciety to be formed in Germany under their supervision. 

Turning to particulars, we should take note of the points on which the 
American proposals were challenged and changes of more than minor 
significance were made. 

The Soviet spokesmen were bothered by the stipulation that local 
self-government should be restored in all parts of Germany through 
elective councils, and the British seemed hardly less so. Even though 
Byrnes pointed out that the Control Council would have discretion as 
to when any elections should be conducted, Molotov feared they might 
be held “prematurely.” He wanted to omit specific reference to elec- 
tions. The provision in the final version was made to read “Local self- 
government shall be restored throughout Germany on democratic prin- 
ciples and in -particular through elective councils as rapidly as is con- 
sistent rcith military security and the purpose of military occupation" 
(new language italicized). It was agreed that representative and elec- 
tive principles should be introduced into the higher political units as 
rapidly as was justified by experience with them in local self-govern- 

These provisions were flexible. They could be molded by each of 
the occupying powers to suie the pace of its wish to turn over re- 
sponsibility to the Germans in its own zone and its preference of ways 
and means. 

The Soviet critics found a loose seam in the text of the provision 
banning Nazis from public and semi-public office and positions of re- 
sponsibility in important private undertakings. It was made tight And 
an affirmative sentence was added: “Such persons shall be replaced 
by persons who, by their political and moral qualities, are deemed 
capable of assisting in developing genuine democratic institutions in 

The scope of the ban on all forms and kinds of military or para- 
military units and institutions was extended to include any that might 
keep alive the solitary tradition Az Ger7mn}>— inducting clubs oud as- 
sociations of war veterans. 

The Russians wanted the decreed cancelation of Nazi laws to be ex- 
tended to include all laws enacted while the Nazis were in power— not 
only those that made for discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or 

[ 243 ] 

political opinion. They deferred to proof that this would do more 
harm than good. But in turn one of their supplementary suggestions was 
adopted: “The judicial system will be reorganized in accordance with 
the principles of democracy, of justice under law, and of equal rights 
for all citizens without distinction of race, nationality or religion.” 

One other amendment was a screen for actuality rather than a 
guide to it. The American proposal had stipulated that all weapons 
and specialized facilities for their production be “seized or destroyed.” 
What about such technical facilities as wind tunnels? asked the Prime 
Minister at the session on July 18. Could they not be taken over and 
used in common? Stalin remarked that “they were not barbarians 
and they would not destroy research institutions.” Churchill said he 
meant they could share them and use them together. Stalin said “this 
could be done.” At the next meeting of the Foreign Ministers the 
clause was changed to read “held at the disposal of the allies or de- 
stroyed.” No passing remark gave a clue to the competitive effort al- 
ready under way to secure the services of German scientists and engi- 
neers with knowledge of military or economic value. Nor did anyone 
allude to the urgent inspection of German centers of research, inven- 
tion, and experiment that was going on in all zones, or to the hurried 
removal of parts, special machines, blueprints, and formulas. In all 
these activities the Russians were being as diligent as bank robbers, 
and the Americans and British not lazy. 

The whole vast program for shaping the political and social future 
of Germany was approved by the Heads of State with what in retrospect 
seems amazing ease.® Reread now, its provisions seem almost as taut 
and definite as any text of the sort could be. It was to become clear, 
however, even before the Potsdam summer was over, that in many 
ways they were not governing. 

The configuration of political and social life and institutions that 
were emerging in West and East were even then becoming less, not 
more, alike. In the Western zones the military authorities were slow 
and cautious about allowing local political units to exercise authority. 
And in selecting or approving persons for official posts, favor was shown 
to former liberals, conservatives, socialists, whose avowed outlook and 
ideals were akin to those ot the United States and Britain. In the 

5 The full text is contained in the Protocol of the Procee 
is given in Supplementary Note 7. The statement of polic 
March 1947- But all its main points and features were m 
Control Council or the Zone Commanders. 

tdings of the Conference, which 
cies was not made public until 
lade known long before by the 

[ 244 ] 

Soviet zone the Russians were carrying out with speed and vigor a 
positive program in aid of a group of “anti-Fasdst democratic parties,” 
similar to those they were nurturing in countries of eastern and south- 
eastern Europe. All were effectively under Communist influence and 
control. The German Communist Party had been officially reconstituted 
in the Soviet zone — and was taking the lead in an effort to form a 
united front with liberal and leftist parties. 

In short, hardly had the Heads of Government signed their names to 
the statement of political principles for all of Germany when many were 
bent differently in the Western and Eastern zones. If they had been 
observed impartially they would have hindered what the Western oc- 
cupants came to regard as essential tasks or duties of relief and recon- 
struction in their zones, and have prevented the Russian occupants from 
going forward with their program for change and domination in the ir 

[ 345 ] 

32. Germany: Economic Principles 

While the conference was progressing toward an accord on political 
principles it was stumbling over the task of writing down a set of niles 
to guide the direction of German economic activity. 

In the ordinary way the shape and substance of the economic life of 
a nation slowly form out of its own resources, needs, and the nature of 
its people. At Potsdam the members of the coalition tried to forge 
them out of their desires. But the task was most perplexing. Offsetting 
needs and aims had to be balanced and reconciled. A coherent pattern 
had to be woven out of a great complex of connected questions} what 
was to be done about each of these bore upon what ought to be done, 
or could be done, about all the others. Thus the task would have been 
hard even if all four occupants had been in roughly the same economic 
condition, had been devoted to the same vision of society, and had been 
without fear or rivalry. But none of this was so. 

The Soviet Union needed and wanted more from Germany than 
did the United States or Great Britain. Its rulers were more set than 
those of the West on using this chance to smash Germany once and for 
all. The suffering that the Germans might thus have to endure would 
be small penalty for what they had caused. The Russians were not wor- 
ried lest the Germans revolt if treated harshly. They were sure they 
could take care of that eventuality. 

The ideas and attitude of the British government were in flux. It was 
becoming more and more worried over the prospect that the Soviet 
Union (and its associates) might obtain such superior strength that not 
even western Europe could be kept out of its grasp. So the British were 
leaning toward the conclusion that Germans must not be left in such 
distress that they might turn to Communism, and that Germany should 
be allowed to regain enough productive strength to correct the impend- 
ing excess of Soviet power in Europe. 

The French people hated the Germans for what they had done in 
France. They were afraid of those determined capabilities that the 
Germans had shown after their defeat in the First World War. But 
the French government, led by de Gaulle, was aggrieved at the western 
allies and mistrustful of the Soviet Union. So its interest in German 
economic affairs was selbcentered. Its policy was directed toward en- 
larging the basis of French economic strength by taking away from 

I *46] 

Germany the great resources of the Ruhr and Saar and farm areas of 
the Rhineland. 

The American government was trying to blend in its policy four 
components that would not stay in stable mixture: detestation of a 
Germany that had debased itself under Hitler; a belief that it must 
be prevented from ever again assaulting others; anxiety that a Ger- 
many left in misery would be harmful and dangerous; and a resolve 
not to be compelled to provide the Germans with means of support. 

It is little to be wondered then that the conferees often seemed lost, 
as, line by line, clause by clause, they went over the statement of prin- 
ciples for the direction of German economic affairs which the President 
drew out of his well-worn brief case. 

Although the import of this proposal is still well-remembered, an 
enumeration of its main essentials may be helpful to historical account- 
ing. i ) All of Germany was to be treated as a single economic unit, 
a) In organizing the German economy, effort was to be directed pri- 
marily toward the use of the land and industries that would provide 
goods for peaceful pursuits. 3) There was to be a diffusion of economic 
power. 4) Uniform policies were to guide the exercise of control in all 
zones, j) Similarly, as far as posable, ration scales were to be the same 
everywhere. 6) Only such controls were to be imposed on the German 
economy as were deemed necessary for a few elementary purposes; the 
prime one was to assure the production of goods and sendees (a) 
needed by the occupying forces and displaced persons, or (b) essential 
to prevent starvation, disease, or great unrest. 7) These controls were 
to be managed by the Germans themselves. 

What a tribute this essay in re-creation was to the hope that Western 
and Communist systems of life could tolerantly adjust to each other! 

In the discussions of this American prescription by the Economic Sub- 
committee of the conference, by the Foreign Ministers and the Heads 
of Government, many changes in substance and form were considered. 
But only a few were significant. 

The American proposal read simply: "During the period of occupa- 
tion Germany shall be treated as a single economic unit.” Molotov 
wanted to qualify or condition this principle by inserting the clause 
"according to detailed instructions to be issued by the Control Coun- 
cil.” The intent was to assure that all acts in execution of this policy 
would be subject to Soviet approval. But Molotov did not insist on the 

[ U7~i 

A poorly recorded discussion in the Economic Subcommittee meeting 
of July 19 centered on the clause in the American proposal authorizing 
the controls necessary “to assure the production and maintenance of 
goods and services to meet the needs of the occupying forces and dis- 
placed persons in Germany, and essential to fr event starvation, disease 
or civil unrest.” This was perceived to leave so open a field for judgment 
that a zone commander could at his discretion maintain any factories 
he might desire. So for the clause I have italicized there was sub- 
stituted another. This, it may be remarked in passing, turned out to be 
just as hard to define precisely: . . essential to maintain in Germany 
average living standards not exceeding the average of the standards of 
living of Eurofean countries (the United Kingdom and the Soviet 
Union excluded).” This was approved all along the line, and was in- 
cluded in the final statement. It was a more lenient level than the one 
set down in Eisenhower’s Directive. 1 

The American text provided that in the absence of special reasons to 
the contrary, each of the zones of occupation, including the Greater 
Berlin area, was to draw its supplies as far as practicable from the areas 
of Germany from which they had come before December 1 937, whether 
or not any part of such territory was administered by or ceded to an- 
other state. The need for affirming this had been sharpened by the 
Russian refusal to provide food and fuel to the people in the western 
sectors of Berlin, although the whole city had formerly obtained its 
supplies from the areas under Russian and Polish control.* But Molotov 
would not agree to the American formulation. He argued that chang- 
ing conditions made it impossible to foresee how much food, coal, and 
other products could be had in the several parts of Germany; and he 
urged that therefore it would be best to let the Control Council deal 
with the matter in the light of later knowledge. Besides, he stressed, 

1 For details see Supplementary Note 4. 

2 At the meeting between the western commanders and Zhukov in Berlin on July 7> 
Zhukov bad insisted that the western occupants accept proportionate responsibility foe 
bringing in food and coal for the people of Berlin. He argued that sufficient supplies would 
not be available from the Russian rone, and none could be had from the areas taken over 
by the Poles. Clay had agreed, as an interim arrangement, to tend in some coal from the 
Ruhr and some food. The American government had feared this would impair our basic 
position in regard to turning over part of the Soviet zone to the Poles, and also deprive 
other countries that needed coal from the Ruhr and Saar of greatly needed supplies. 

Any historian who is not weary of irony can bemuse himself with the thought of how 
the Berlin situation would have developed if the Russians had agreed at this time to pro- 
vide all sectors of Berlin with food, coal, and other essentials, and if therefore this relation 
of dependence of the western sector, on the wertem allies and West Germany had not 
developed. Presumably had the weitern sectors of Berlin procured most of their essential, 
from the east they would have had to ezport most of their product, to the east. 


as did Stalin, no matter what was written into this statement the Poles 
could not be compelled to produce for shipment to Germany. To these 
resistant reasons the Americans and British yielded. The provision was 

The language of the American proposal imposing restraints on heavy 
industries was deemed by the Russians to be inconclusive. Thus it was 
revised to read: “In order to eliminate Germany’s war potential, the 
production of arms, ammunition and implements of war as well as all 
types of aircraft and seagoing ships shall be prohibited and prevented. 
Production of metals, chemicals, machinery and other items that are 
directly necessary to a war economy shall be rigidly controlled and re- 
stricted to Germany’s approved post-war peacetime needs. . . . Pro- 
ductive capacity not needed for permitted production shall be removed 
in accordance with the reparations plan ... or if not removed, shall 
be destroyed.” 

Then there was the cluster of disputed points bearing, one way or 
another, on the question of how primary and dominant the quest for 
reparations was to be. Was this to rule over or be subject to other pur- 
poses and wants; and if subject, to what extent and in what ways? How 
little or much regard should be shown for the condition of the Ger- 
mans, the revival of German industry, the preservation of a system 
of private ownership and activity? 

The American officials and experts had not been able to formulate 
a precise set of rules for the adjustment of these related considerations. 
Too many of the pertinent facts were not predictable. But they had 
leaned on previous experience — leaned too hard in fact. Prospectively 
reparations were to be collected in two main forms. One was by re- 
moval from Germany of industrial and other equipment not needed 
for approved peacetime production. The other was by exports from 
stocks and future production. The Americans were determined that the 
United States should not again be called on to provide the means to 
enable the Germans to pay reparations to others. Thus they wanted to 
have it plainly stated that German export capacity was to be used to 
pay for approved essential imports before it was expended in repara- 
tions. Only the excess not needed to meet this bill should be deliverable 
as reparations* 

* As expressed in the first proposal submitted by the American delegation, “The United 
States Government . . . must in*ist that such necessary imports as are approved by our 
governments shall constitute a first charge against exports of current production and 
stocks of goods.” Potsdam Papers, Document *94. 


The Russian attitude slanted in the reverse direction: the Germans 
should first be made to meet such obligations as were imposed on 
them; and imports into Germany should be restricted to whatever the 
Germans could pay for after they had met this prior condition. Other- 
wise, the Soviet officials argued, the German and foreign capitalists 
would want to profit from foreign trade and skimp reparations for those 
who had suSered. The Germans, as a way of escaping reparations, 
would exaggerate their need for imports to live. After all, Maisky 
said to the other members of the Economic Subcommittee on July 20, 
the Germans would not have to import much in order to live as well 
as the people of Central Europe on whom they had trampled; and a 
national economic plan could be worked out on this basis. But the 
Americans and the British denied this supposition and rejected the 
proposed ways of validating it. 

As it became dear that they would not give in, Molotov (on July 23) 
proposed a graduated formula: “After payment of Reparations enough re- 
sources must be left to enable the German people to subsist without 
external assistance. In working out the economic balance for Germany 
the necessary means must be provided for payment for imports ap- 
proved by the Control Council. In case the means are insufficient to pay 
simultaneously on reparations account and for approved imports, all 
kinds of deliveries (internal consumption, exports, reparations) shall 
have to be proportionately reduced.” 

Was that not fair, Molotov asked? Byrnes and Eden said they did 
not think so. Nothing that was needed to compensate for approved im- 
ports into the western zones, they maintained in effect, should be turned 
over as reparations. Nor would they grant the Soviet government the 
chance, through the Control Council, unduly to reduce internal con- 
sumption in order to restrict imports into the western zones. They 
hinged their refusal on the idea that if imports were too small, then 
the Germans would produce less, say of coal, and the Western powers 
would have to make up the deficit. 

Ultimately the circuit of argument over this point was broken by 
forgoing one of the forms of reparations that had been in mind-— de- 
liveries from stocks and future production. I will not here describe the 
involved version of the formula which was enmeshed in the final accord. 

In my judgment the guide for policy adopted at Potsdam was not, 
as has so often been alleged, unjustly harsh to the Germans or forgetful 
of other countries’ need for German production. But it was not well 


aligned with reality. The aims designated exceeded the means approved. 
The many provisions together constituted a prospectus — it might almost 
be said a plan— that could have been carried out only if German ac- 
tivities were greatly and rigidly controlled. Yet it was stipulated that 
the controls were to be slight. Perhaps this disparity was unavoidable: 
while the West and the Soviet Union could agree on spaciously de- 
scribed aims, they would not have been able to agree on adequate meas- 
ures for achieving them. And the many beams of purpose were not co- 
ordinated. One of the central problems — one that was sure to arise — 
was left in a maze or haze: in what relative measure was each of the 
main requirements — imports, the standard of living, the removal of in- 
dustrial equipment as reparations— to be cut down, if the need arose? 

Even if the ideas of the four sponsors had been in consonance, they 
would have found it hard to turn this verbal exterior of an accord into 
reality. But actually, even during the years when the effort was made, 
the French government refused to heed the rules, and the differences 
between the Western and the Soviet participants in control became 
virulent. In Great Britain and the United States favor veered away from 
policies that had been approved under the spell of the war experience. 
The authorities — military and civilian — working in the western zones 
found the policies too drastic and grew inclined to sympathize with the 
Germans rather than to punish them. Business and banking people, not 
indifferent to the benefits for themselves of increased trade, did not 
find extreme the condemnatory judgment of a special article in the 
Economist of September 8, 1945, which began with the statement that 
“It is not difficult to demonstrate the utter lunacy of the Allies' policy 
toward Germany.” The author reasoned that the Russians and Ameri- 
cans could favor such policies because to the closed economy of Russia 
and to the superproductive economy of the United States, the decline 
of Europe could not mean what it meant to unhappy Europeans; and 
he exhorted: “Britain has almost absolute control in the Ruhr. It can 
not only give a lead but make it effective. It should be the task of all 
the new Government to reverse the old errors, end the deadlock, and 
get to work.” 

This view — that the revival of the German economy was essential 
to the welfare of the whole of Western Europe — quickened the rever- 
sal of the Potsdam program. But the changes in policy would not have 
come about so quickly or been so thorough if this belief had not been 
companioned by a conclusion that a strong Germany was needed to re- 
sist the pressure of Soviet Communism upon the West. When nations 

1 2 51 ] 

change alliances, old principles, like old vows, are bartered for new 

But in recording these reflections I have wandered far forward from 
the discussion at Potsdam of that one subject in the economic field over 
which there was most dissension. What reparations was Germany to 
make, and in what ways? 

[ 252 ] 

33* Germany: Reparations 

It had been thought that the Allied Commission on Reparations, bom 
at Yalta in February, would start work at once to produce a detailed 
plan. But several months had passed before it met. During this time 
the armies of the coalition fought their way to a junction on the Elbe. 
Even while they were doing so, American and British officials were be- 
coming troubled over the conditions in western Europe and impressed 
by the need to revive production of essentials quickly. This awareness 
had begun to dim the reasons for reducing German industrial capacity, 
and to infringe on estimates of obtainable reparations. 

Edwin Pauley, organizer and owner of oil properties in the Far 
West, and a skilled and aggressive negotiator, had been chosen to be 
United States member on the Commission. The instructions given him 
reflect the diverse and in some ways conflicting ideas that mingled in 
American official thought. 1 In compressed meaning these were: 

1 ) As large as possible a part of the total of reparations should be 
secured out of the existing national wealth of Germany, as small a part 
as possible out of recurrent future production. 

2) The removal of factories and machinery in German heavy in- 
dustries would be the main and most satisfactory source. 

3) Reparations from future production, in so far as it was found 
necessary to agree to them, should be of such sorts and amounts as not 
to require the maintenance of German war potential or continued de- 
pendence of other countries on Germany. This meant that they should 
be primarily raw materials and natural resources. 

4) The American government advanced no fixed idea about what 
the total should be. But various elements in the instructions amounted 
in effect to a caution against the designation of an excessive volume or 

5) The division of the total among the various claimants was left 
open for discussion. 

This program did not assign reparations a reliable priority over other 
uses for German production. Deliveries were to be contingent on the 
course of future judgment of the German situation. The authors must 
have realized that this would not please the Russians, or seem to them 

1 The text of these instructions is Appendix 5 to the Pauley-Lubin Report of September 
**>» >94Si to the President. The Report is in Potsdam Papers, Document 980, but this 
Appendix is printed in Footnote 3 to Document 363. 

t =53 ] 

In any event, as soon as the Reparation Commission met at Moscow 
(in mid-June) Pauley had become aware of it. He learned that the 
Russians were still set in the belief that the total obligation should be 
set at twenty billion dollars — half to go to the Soviet Union. He did 
not openly resist the use of this figure “as the basis of discussion,” to 
use the phrase approved by Stalin and Roosevelt at Yalta. But he let 
his colleagues on the Commission know that the American government 
thought it best not to try to fix any total until more was known about 
the German ability to make reparations. Time was needed to determine 
what that would be. 

During the interval before the Potsdam conference the members of 
the Commission had agreed on certain principles that were roughly in 
accord with those outlined in the instructions to Pauley. But they had 
differed drastically on several elements, among them the crucial one of 
whether to fix a minimum sum which Germany would be obligated 
to pay as reparations, unconditionally.* 

Pauley had wished to stipulate that only such excess of exportable 
German products as were not needed to pay for essential imports into 
Germany should be allocated as reparations. Otherwise the American 
government feared that the United States would again, as after World 
War I, be under duress to provide the means for sustaining Germany 
so that it could pay reparations.* The Soviet advocate on the Commis- 
sion had tried to dispose of the problem by saying in effect that the 
United States should let the Germans get along as best they could. Who 
could foretell with certainty whether there would be any excess? 

Then Pauley had tried to get the Commission to agree that the 
Control Council should be authorized to prevent the transfer of any 
item as reparations when it deemed that its loss would reduce the 
available economic means in Germany below the minimum necessary 
for the other purposes of the occupation; if the members of the Council 
were unable to agree, each zone commander should be judge in regard 
to removals from his zone. This in essence would have meant that each 
of the occupant governments could restrict the flow of reparations from 

2 The range of agreement and disagreement is set out in the telegrams that Pauley sent 
to Washington between June 19 and July 14. Potsdam Papers, Documents 356, j6S, 3S7, 
370, and 375. The text of the principles that the members of the Reparation Commission 
agreed to recommend for guidance of the Control Council in preparation and administra- 
tion of the reparations plan was submitted as an Annex to the Proposal made by the Ameri- 
can delegation at Potsdam on July 17. IbU., Document 894. 

* It is notable that Truman, in his later account of his ideas on setting out for Potsdam, 
singles out one “pitfall* that he was determined to avoid • “We did not intend to pay, 
under any circumstances, the reparations bill for Europe." Year of Deemont, page i»J. 

[ 2 54 ] 


its zone — the British from the Ruhr, in particular- Any such leeway 
seemed to the Russians to endanger the value of the whole accord. 

Regretfully the President and the Secretary of State had accepted 
the necessity to concern themselves with these issues at Potsdam. The 
Soviet government had been put on notice. 

The discussion turned into one of the most sustained contests at the 
conference. It enlivened the American and British sense that the Soviet 
Union was indifferent to the fate of western Europe. And it nurtured 
the Soviet belief that the western allies would rather spare the Germans 
than enable the Russian people to get just redress and aid. American 
resistance to Soviet wishes became more firm as the days went by, when 
it was seen how set the Russians were in support of detachment of part 
of their zone for the Poles. British resistance was stimulated by worry 
over how the dense population in Britain’s zone, augmented by the 
inflow of refugees from the east, was to be kept alive, healthy enough 
to work, and obedient. 

Who would want now to follow the many coils of the argument? 
The purpose of recall and reflection will be served by a brief summary 
of those points on which, during the first week of the conference, the 
animated discussions centered. In regard to two of these, American 
and British official judgment had been gradually changing and harden- 
ing since Roosevelt and Churchill had talked over the subject with 
Stalin at Yalta. 

The governments of the western allies became set in their refusal 
to agree to the designation of any fixed total sum — in terms of dollar 
value — of the reparations to be exacted. They had concluded that it was 
not prudent or sensible to try to do so, for they would thereby lose 
freedom to shape reparations policy by future facts. If any figure ac- 
ceptable to the Russians was set, various disagreeable probabilities were 
foreseen. The United States might well be compelled to support the 
Germans; or to witness prolonged misery and discontent in Germany; 
or to agree to the exercise of state controls of German economic life 
which would ease the way toward Communism. 

The Russians retreated from twenty billion — the sum originally asked 
— to the lesser sum of eighteen or sixteen billion. They contended that 
without some such indication of the dimensions of the German obliga- 
tion, the Soviet Union would have no assurance of substantial repara- 
tions. Deliveries from the western zones, especially capital equipment 
from the Ruhr, would be subject to the judgment or whim of the west- 


ern allies and the Germans. In more blunt language than the Russian 
negotiators allowed themselves, a reparations plan without a firm 
guiding mark would be no plan at all, and possibly a disappointing 

To all the many repetitions of this contention Byrnes and Eden 
(and Bevin) answered over and over that it would cause future trouble 
if a fixed total were set, since so many elements of the German future 
could not be forecast. Byrnes remarked that it was a mystery to him 
where the volume of reparations sought by the Russians was to come 
from, since so much German property had been destroyed. In im- 
mediate prospect, the United States would have to give products to 
the Germans, not receive products from them. Similarly Eden stressed 
that the problem faced by the British in the Ruhr was how to prevent 
starvation, since the Soviet government would not send in food and 
other supplies. Here was the origin of the idea of arranging a formal 
exchange between zone authorities of capital equipment from the Ruhr 
in return for food and coal and other products from the east. 

It had been conceived that the Germans were to pay part — though 
only the lesser part — of their reparations by delivering goods that they 
would produce during the next ten years. But further study of the 
situation had led the American and British officials to realize that in 
order to meet this obligation and pay their way in trade the Germans 
would have to be allowed to retain a large structure of production- 
large enough, it was estimated, to enable Germany again, if control 
were relaxed, to produce weapons, or at least be a valued ally or as- 
sociate in some aggressive purpose. Moreover, the amount of surplus 
capital equipment that might be taken as reparations would be less. 
For these reasons the Americans and the British came to think it best 
that reparations in the form of recurrent deliveries from future produc- 
tion should be forgone. To this the Russians do not seem to have 
strongly objected ; they were more intent on getting equipment and 
machines with which to manufacture products for themselves than on 
obtaining products from the Germans. Perhaps they figured also that 
the Germans would resort to the same type of measures they had fol- 
lowed after World War I, in order to evade any obligation to make 
recurrent deliveries, and that the benefit would not be worth the 

The Americans sought to restrict by definition what was to be taken 
out of Germany as "restitution” and "war booty,” as distinct from 


reparations.* The Russians wanted approval for a wide range of recap- 
tures or seizures in these forms, since their country had been, in their 
words, plundered by the Germans “almost to the last nail and thread.” 5 
As the end of the conference neared, the views and wishes on this were 
as contrasting as they had been at the start. But when the basis of the 
reparations plan was converted, so that each occupant was to derive 
reparations primarily from its own zone, the need for uniform defini- 
tion of these two kinds of acquisitions was no longer judged essential, 
and the conference desisted from the effort. 

This change in the proposed system of securing reparations was 
crucial. The Americans and the British had entered the conference 
disposed to agree that it was best and feasible to allocate an “overall 
percentage" of an unspecified total to each of the three powers — to be 
applied to Germany at a whole. But as the argument went on they 
renounced that idea. They thought the basis had been impaired by the 
detachment of part of the Russian zone. And they judged it would 
work to the disadvantage of the western allies, since the Russians were 
taking so many industrial plants from all parts of Greater Berlin and 
East Germany that little would be left for delivery as reparations to 
the West or to support the German economy.* For these and other rea- 
sons they concluded that the conception of sharing out reparations from 
Germany as a whole had best be abandoned. 

Byrnes first openly broached the new basis in an informal talk with 
Molotov on the morning of the 23rd. He said he was wondering 
whether it might not be wise to alter the plan so as to authorize each of 
the occupants to secure reparations from its own zone — with a supple- 
mentary accord for an exchange of products between zones, such as 
trading equipment from western zones for food and coal from the 
Soviet zone. The Russians resisted the change: they offered to com- 
pensate for what they had already taken from their zone by reducing 

* For a more extensive summary of American and Soviet views and proposals on this 
question see Supplementary Note j. 

8 A vivid and delated contemporary description of the plight of the Soviet Union and 
the needs of its people is presented in the book by the American newspaper correspondent 
Harrison Salisbury, Ruisia on the Way, published in 19*6. 

8 The Russians were in turn accusing the Americans of having removed optical and 
laboratory equipment and experimental apparatus from those sections of the Soviet zone 
they had occupied. Zhukov had described these removals in a report to Stalin, and had 
sent a copy to Pauley, who on July 19 passed on a summary of it to Truman at Potsdam. 
Pauley thought Zhukov’s report was a smoke screen for what the Soviet government was 
doing before the approval of a reparations plan. 

[ 2 57 3 

their claims from ten to nine billion} suggested that the property ob- 
tained by the Poles in the area turned over to them be treated as the 
Polish share of reparations} insisted that it was essential to them to 
get a fixed allotment of reparations from the Ruhr; cited their informa- 
tion that only a small part of Ruhr industrial capacity — ten to fifteen 
percent — had been destroyed, and the rest remained; maintained their 
opinion that if the will was there, it would be quite possible for Ger- 
many to meet Russian reparation demands, and submitted analyses to 
prove it. The experts of neither side convinced the politically aware on 
the opposed side. 

The American group at Potsdam may not have realized the full 
import of this change in policy which it sponsored. The Russians, when 
they agreed to let the Poles detach part of their zone, had made the 
first rent in the prospect that the three allies would stay together in the 
control of all of Germany as a joint concern. The American decision 
to change over to a separate zonal basis of reparations was the second 
one. Neither can be said to have created differences of interest. But 
both were admissions that such differences existed, and made them 

During the following days of conference the issue was left open. At- 
tention turned to other matters. The last attempt to bridge the differ- 
ences waited on the coming of the new English Prime Minister and 
Foreign Secretary. 

[258 3 

34* The Springing Arch of the Conference 

The conference had been going on for almost a fortnight. The argu- 
ment about the western frontier of Poland was rotating in a fixed orbit. 
That over reparations was snagged. As the Americans and the British 
pondered what was likely to happen if the conference dispersed with- 
out accord on these two focal issues, the possibilities seemed somber. 
Would the Russians then be even more willful and grasping? How 
could they be deterred, without going to war, from doing what they 
wanted in areas under their control? How might an acknowledged 
break affect plans for Soviet entry into the war against Japan and Soviet 
actions in the Far East? Would it not impair the formation of the 
United Nations, and mar the prospect that the peace might be made 
enduring and just by that association? The conclusion formed was that 
the more prudent course would be to pay tribute to the power of the 
Soviet Union to have pretty much its own way in Poland— if thereby 
greater protection could be had against Soviet intrusion toward the west. 

Resigned to the fact that Stalin would not refuse the Poles any of the 
area of Germany they were claiming as their own, determined to frus- 
trate Russian designs in or against the western 2ones of Germany, and 
swayed by the wish to align Italy with the democracies, Byrnes de- 
vised what in later idiom has come to be called a “package deal.” He 
resorted to an offer to assent to the western frontier the Poles were 
seeking if the Soviet government would give in to his terms in regard 
to German reparations and the refurbishment of Italy. If agreement 
were reached on such a reciprocal basis, the conference would have been 
of use in disposing of the problems of Europe, its prime purpose. Termi- 
nal could be — would be — considered a “success.” After all, who with 
any knowledge of history could expect the United States and its friends 
to have all their own way, to secure settlements that were wholly what 
they wanted? The usual results of diplomacy were work-a-day compro- 

Truman, by then baffled and eager to get away from these trying 
sessions of talk, fell in with the idea. Attlee and Bevin had deeper 
pangs and felt greater concern over having Poland — under Russia — 
owne so far west. But the British did not have the strength to prevent 
it, or the willingness to use such strength as they had. So they could 
not continue to stand out. Moreover, their country was going to have 
a hard time to get through the coming winter and manage its zone in 

[ 259 ] 

Germany} it would need all the relief and aid it could get in these 
tasks through a betterment of the prospect for western Europe. 

Thus a proposal was written out which wrapped together “solu- 
tions” for all three of these conference issues. This meant, in a sense, 
converting decisions about each of them into a single decision whether 
the conference was to leave the war allies in political touch or separated. 

The 29th was a Sunday, with free time in the morning after church. 
Truman asked Stalin to come and see him so that they might try to 
clear up the matters that were delaying the end of their work. But 
Molotov drove over instead. He explained that Stalin had a cold and 
that the doctors would not let him out of the house. The President 
then asked Byrnes to inform Molotov of the matters he had in mind 
to talk over with Stalin. The Secretary of State named Polish western 
boundaries and German reparations as the main ones. If, he went on, 
they could reach an accord on reparations along the lines of his proposals 
to Molotov, the American government would go further to meet Soviet 
wishes in regard to Poland’s western frontiers. He gave Molotov a 
paper defining the degree of our willingness. Its crucial paragraph 

“The Three Heads of Government agree that, pending the final 
determination of Poland’s western frontier, the former German terri- 
tories east of a line running from the Baltic sea through Swinemiinde, 
to west of Stettin to the Oder and thence along the Oder River to the 
confluence of the eastern Neisse River and along the eastern Neisse to 
the Czecho-Slovak frontier, including that portion of East Prussia not 
placed under the administration of the USSR in accordance with the 
understanding reached at this conference and including the area of the 
former free city of Danzig, shall be under the administration of the 
Polish state and for such purposes should not be considered as part of 
the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany .” 1 

The new American concession was in the last clause. It was a hard 
and grave one to make, for by then it must have been foreseen that 
despite all the formulas in the preamble, it meant the permanent de- 
tachment of this part of Germany. Molotov did not say outright that 
the Soviet government did not think the offer good enough. He chose 
instead to poise his resistance on the fact that the Poles were insistent 
on retaining also the administration of the country between the eastern 
and western Neisse rivers. Byrnes admitted this was so. He pointed 

1 Potsdam Papers, Document tljs. 

[ 260] 


out that his proposal did not necessarily mean that Poland would be 
denied this further area; it might be had later by award of the peace 
conference. The President asked Molotov to submit his proposal to 
Marshal Stalin. Molotov said he would. 

It may be reported, before telling of the other elements of this talk 
with Molotov on the morning of the 29th, that Stalin’s cold did not 
prevent him from receiving Bierut that same evening. If an entry made 
by Mikolajczyk in his notes is reliable, Stalin had the impulse to repay 
the Americans a little for their eager wish for an accord. He seems to 
have made a passing effort to persuade Bierut to be content with a little 
less. The entry records Stalin as telling him that the Americans had 
“presented their boundary proposal based on the eastern Neisse and the 
line of the Oder, including Stettin”; and as asking him whether, in 
view of the fact that the Americans had given in somewhat, the Poles 
would not do likewise and agree, for example, to “the line of the Queis 
[Kwisa] instead of the Lausitzer [the western] Neisse.” The diary 
entry goes on to state that “After consultations with experts it was 
decided that we [the Poles] should possibly agree not to the Lower 
Neisse, but only with regard to the watershed lying between the Queis 
and the Lausitzer Neisse. That would deprive us of some water instal- 
lations but not affect the industry of Silesia.”* 

About the revised American plan for reparations, which Byrnes 
had asked him to consider, Molotov in this talk ceased to object in 
principle. But he inquired how much capital equipment his country 
could count on getting from the Ruhr (in addition to what was had 
from its own zone). Byrnes said one-quarter of what was available as 
reparations. Molotov then drily remarked that one-quarter of an un- 
known quantity meant very little. To make the obligation firm, they 
ought to agree on a definite money sum or physical quantity — say two 
billion dollars or six billion tons. And would the Russians get this 
equipment without compensation, or would they have to give in ex- 
change products from the eastern areas? These questions were left over 
at the end of Molotov’s talk with Truman and Byrnes. But thereafter 
the tussle over reparations ceased to revolve around concepts and turned 
into a bargain about “how much.” 

* The only available record of this talk with Stalin is 3 diary entry by Ac Polish Dep- 
uty Prime Minister Mikolajcayk, beaded Babelsburg, July a 9 , The first line reads: 
“In the evening Mr. Biertit was invited to see Marshal Stalin, who informed him . . ." 
This presumably means that Mikolajayk was not present. But he may well have been a 
participant in the consultations among the Poles and in the decision to accept a com- 
promise line. The diary entry is printed in the Potsdam Papers, Document t j 9 >. 


Either the recorded report of the talk between the Poles and Stalin 
on the evening of the 29th is incorrect or misleading, or the Americans 
■were not informed of it. In any case, overnight they decided, having 
talked again with Attlee and Bevin, to make their ultimate concession. 
They improved their offer about the Polish frontier and clarified their 
offer about German reparations. And they introduced a third element 
into the bargain: Soviet assent to a new version of the provision to ease 
the way toward the conclusion of a peace treaty with Italy and its ad- 
mission into the United Nations. 

In another talk with Molotov on the afternoon of the 30th, just 
before the Foreign Ministers met in formal session, and with only 
interpreters present, Byrnes exposed his repacked proposal. 

The American government, he said, would accede to the Soviet wish 
that Polish administration extend to the western instead of to the eastern 
Neisse River. The revised paper he gave Molotov on this point read: 
“pending the final determination of Poland’s western frontier the for- 
mer German territories east of a line running through Swinemunde, 
and thence along the Oder River to the confluence of the western Neisse 
and along the western Neisse to the Czechoslovak frontier shall be under 
the administration of the Polish State and for such purposes should not 
be considered as part of the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany”* 
(my italics). Molotov said he was very pleased. 

In regard to the entry of Italy into the United Nations, Byrnes ex- 
plained that he had sought a compromise between his British and Soviet 
friends. After looking at its text, Molotov remarked that while he 
could not say so finally, he thought it would be acceptable. 

Then Byrnes went on to what he called the “most difficult” of all the 
questions— reparations. On that he had new terms in mind also. In 
these, however, he made clear, the British had not yet concurred. As 
already envisaged, the chief source of reparations for the Soviet Union 
was to be its own zone. But the Soviet would also be accorded the right 
to receive, without any payment, fifteen percent of such industrial 
equipment in the Ruhr as was found to be not necessary for the Ger- 
man peace economy, and another twenty-five percent for an equivalent 
value in food, coal, and other products. Out of these receipts it was to 
satisfy Polish claims. 

Who would deride what equipment in the Ruhr should be made 
available for reparations? The British, Byrnes thought, would have 
to have the last say, for the Ruhr was in their zone and they would 

* IbiJ., Document xij*. 



know what must be left there. Molotov, however, was of the opinion 
that the allies ought to make the determination jointly, through either 
the Control Council or the Reparation Commission. Byrnes indicated 
his willingness to consider this method, though final authority would 
have to be left with the zonal commander. 

Molotov urged that the share to be allocated to the Soviet Union 
without payment be increased to twenty-five percent. Byrnes said he 
did not think the British would assent. Why then, Molotov asked, con- 
fine the offer to the Ruhr; why not agree to turn over to the Soviet 
Union a share of the surplus (in the understood sense) industrial equip- 
ment from all western zones — say, ten percent free and fifteen percent 
on exchange? Byrnes demurred on the ground that the United States, 
from its own zone, would have to take care of the claims of others — 
France, Holland, Belgium, Yugoslavia. 

At the end of their talk Molotov remarked that he thought progress 
had been made. Before they went on to the waiting formal session of 
Foreign Ministers, he handed Byrnes a paper recalling the Soviet wish 
to have a separate four-power administration for the Ruhr— which has 
been described. 

Up to the very last hour of the last session of the conference all three 
conference groups chiseled away at the fapde and edges of the pro- 
posed bargain, reshaping a detail here or there, omitting or rewriting 
a clause or sentence. 

At the session of the Foreign Ministers right after his talk with 
Molotov (on the 30th) Byrnes submitted his proposal formally. He 
asked that the three elements be accepted or rejected as a group, and 
Stressed that the American government, in a spirit of compromise, was 
acting against its judgment about Polish western frontiers. Neverthe- 
less, if conjoined accord could be reached on all three matters, he would 
be content. If not, the three Heads of Government would have to de- 
cide whether to keep on trying. Refusal of the American offer would 
have meant, although Byrnes did not say it, that Russia would get 
no reparations from the western zones. But he did point out that Jack of 
an accord in these fields would hinder— if not prevent — settlement of 
many other questions, including the economic treatment of Germany. 

In the ensuing discussion Bevin showed a firm preference for an 
arrangement whereby the equipment to be given to the Soviet Union, 
as an uncompensated addition to what it would get from its own zone, 
should come from all western zones, not merely the British one. Byrnes 


gave in, halving the proportions in the original offer to the Soviet Union. 

Bevin also did not favor the reparations arrangements providing for 
an exchange between zonal authorities of products from the western 
zone for products from the east. He was afraid that such a plan would 
lead to disputes. Moreover, as a Socialist he thought it would be con- 
trary to the concept of free economic movement through all of Germany 
and its control as a unified whole. His view was that the supply of 
goods in Germany ought to be treated separately. But in this regard he 
deferred to American judgment. 

In all these offers Molotov found the same incisive fault. They were 
only percents of an unknown figure. Again he asked why not fix a total 
money value or tonnage total! Again Byrnes explained why this could 
not be done. When the Soviet Foreign Minister realized that Byrnes 
would be unyielding he directed his efforts toward getting other im- 
provements. First he tried for a bigger percent} this Byrnes refused to 
consider. Next he tried once again to make sure that the Soviet govern- 
ment would have a chance to determine, through either the Reparation 
Commission or the Control Council, which equipment could be taken 
out of all zones. Byrnes was willing to agree to this, provided, as he 
once again proposed, that each zone commander had the right to re- 
fuse to allow the removal of anything from his zone that he thought 
was needed for the other purposes of the occupation. 

Byrnes tried to assuage Molotov’s criticisms of the reparations plan 
by referring again to “the proposal with regard to the Polish western 
frontier which involved a greater concession on our part than this one 
from the Soviets. The paper referring to the United Nations [admission 
of Italy and relations with the other satellites] involved a concession 
on the part of our British friends.” He knew it was “a concession 
for the Soviets to agree to percentages,” but if we made concessions, 
“the Soviets should also .” 4 Molotov retorted, as paraphrased in the 
Minutes, that “It was a concession to Poland, not to them.” “Had he 
not ” Byrnes asked, “heard his friend, Mr. Molotov, make a more elo- 
quent plea for this frontier than the Poles?” But Molotov would not 
yield} with convinced stubbornness he maintained that it was essential 
to fix a definite total obligation that Germany should be required to 

Byrnes concluded that the only step left was to see whether the three 
Heads of Government might be able to knit up the differences. Before 
them was the apparition of the condition of Europe; and in their ears 

* Potsd»m Papers, Minutes, Meeting of Foreign Ministers, July 30. 



were reports of the wish of their peoples for a tranquilizing settlement 
that would enable them to get back to work, grow food, repair their 
houses and factories and roads, reopen schools, and have warmth in 
their homes. Against such needs, was it not better to accept less than 
seemed right, and trust the passing years to cover over imperfections? 

On the next afternoon, the 31st, when Byrnes reported to the Heads 
of Government in Plenary Session, Stalin and Molotov objected to 
linking up the three questions. Each, they contended, should be decided 
on its own merits. But Byrnes, with Truman’s support, maintained that 
the American government would acquiesce in the proposed Polish west- 
ern frontier only if accord were reached on the other two matters as 
well. Stalin said that “Mr. Byrnes can use such tactics as these if he 
wishes, but the Russian delegation will vote on each question sepa- 
rately” 5 

As regards reparations, Stalin said he would renounce the Soviet 
wish for a guaranteed money or quantity total. He also accepted the 
principle that each country should exact reparations from its own zone 
—provided that in addition the Soviet Union would get industrial 
equipment from the western zones, part free, part in exchange for 
other products. But how soon would the amount of equipment be de- 
termined? Would three months not be enough? When Bevin said it 
Would not be, Stalin agreed that six months should be allowed. What 
of the percentages? Was the Soviet Union not entitled to larger ones? 
And should it not get in addition shares in German industrial and trans- 
port companies in the western zones, and about one-third of German 
gold and assets abroad? 

Truman and Byrnes were disposed to accord the Soviet Union a 
larger percentage of the excess industrial equipment in the western 
zones (fifteen and ten instead of twelve and a half and seven and a 
half) if the Russians would forgo their claims for shares in German 
companies, gold, and foreign assets. But Bevin was loath to do so. He 
maintained that the offer, as it stood, was liberal. But to Stalin it was 
“the opposite of liberal.” The United States, he observed, was willing 
to meet the Soviet wishes. Why was Britain unwilling? After again 
trying to persusde Stzlin of the reasons and again failing, Bevin at 
last said, “All right then.” Stalin expressed his thanks* 

* Potsdam Papers, Cohen Notes. 

Potsdam Papers, Minutes, Plenary Session, July 31. Little historical importance at. 
the final discussion in subcommittees of the conference about various secondary 
ana still unsettled points in the reparations accord. Stalin renounced his claim to shores in 


So ended for the time being the bout over German reparations, if 
not the conflict of purposes behind it. The accord was in reality trail, 
for it rested on the intent to deprive Germany of a substantial part of its 
industrial capacity, and to maintain rigid restraint on its industrial devel- 
opment. And even if this purpose had been sustained, the program could 
have brought satisfaction only if all four participants in the control of Ger- 
many had used the same gauge in their treatment of the Germans 
and in their measurement of what the Germans needed for a peace 
economy (the allowed level of industry)} and if the principles had been 
carried out with wholesome and mutual good faith. 

But on this occasion no one chose to sermonize. The negotiators 
turned with relief to the details of the other two matters. About the 
Polish frontier settlement, Bevin was inquisitorial. He said that his 
instructions were to stand for the eastern Neisse, and he would like 
to ascertain what was involved in the new proposal. How was the 
transfer of this part of the Soviet zone to be regarded? Would the area 
remain “technically” under allied military control? If not, it would 
in effect be a transfer of territory before the peace conference, for which 
the approval of the French was also required. 

The cross volley of comments that followed remains of interest.* 
Stalin retorted that this concerned the Russian zone and the French, 
had nothing to do with it. Bevin asked whether the British could give 
away pieces of their zone without approval from other governments. 
“No,” Stalin said in effect; this could be done in the case of Poland, 

German enterprise, located in the western zone, of Germany, and to German foreign as- 
sets in all countries in return for the exclusive right to take shares in the German enter- 
prise, in the eastern zone and German assets in Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Romania, 
and eastern Austria. He gave up any claim to German gold captured by allied troops. 

At the last session, after Attlee said he was anxious that France become a member of the 
Reparation Committee, Stalin assented to that also. 

But in one of his related aims — to secure for the Soviet Union a third of the captured 
or surrendered German fleet and naval vessels that were in the hands of the British and 
Americans — Stalin secured full satisfaction. An account of the vigorous negotiation 
about this matter before and at Potsdam is given in Supplementary Note j. 

* None was readier to profess the contrary belief— that this reparations accord was 
dear, conclusive, and workable— -than Pauley and his staff. They did not want the job 
of tnming this Potsdam accord into a program. All of them resigned and returned to the 
United States. Pauley, in an interpretative memo he wrote at the request of the U.S. zone 
commander before his departure from Potsdam, explained this action on the ground that 
the policies laid down in the Potsdam agreement to guide reparation removals were 
“clearly defined and complete though of a very general character.” This memo it re- 
ferred to in Potsdam Document 990, but is not printed. Its main substance is summarized 
in Ratchford and Ross, Berlin Reparation! Aisignment; see ibid., pages 46-47, for 
Pauley’, August 4 letter to Clay and the authors’ comments. 

* Potsdam Papers, Minutes, Plenary Session, July 31. 



for there they were dealing with a state that had no western frontier, 
but this was the only such situation in the world. 

Byrnes spoke up reassuringly. “They all understood,” he said, as 
reported in the Minutes, that “the cession of territory was left to the 
peace conference. They confronted the situation where Poland, with 
Soviet consent, was administering a good part of this territory; by this 
action the three powers agreed to the administration in the interim by 
Poland in order that there would be no further dispute between them 
in regard to the administration of the area by the Polish Provisional 

Bevin ended his resistance to a decision that the British government 
thought unwise. He said he would not press the matter. But he asked 
again what would now happen in this “zone.” Would the Poles take 
over and the Soviet troops withdraw? Stalin said they would if this 
territory did not constitute a line of communication with their army 
in Germany. ‘There were two roads there, one to Berlin to the north 
and the other to the south. These two roads were the ways by which 
the troops of Marshal Zhukov were supplied, in the same way thae 
Holland and Belgium were used by the British.” Would the Soviet 
troops, Bevin then asked, be limited to these lines of communication? 
Yes, said Stalin; in fact, four-fifths of the Soviet troops in Poland had 
been brought home, and thought was being given to further recall. 

Truman took the measure of the moment, saying that then “all agreed 
on the Polish question.” The others nodded. 

Then without ado the third American proposal, having to do with 
the admission of Italy into the United Nations, was approved.® 

The most trying issues were thus settled. The dimax of the con- 
ference was past. A parting in wrath had been averted. The negotiators 
—none more impatient than the Americans — could soon start for home. 

On the next day (August r) Truman, on behalf of the three par- 
ticipants in the conference, informed the Poles, who had stayed in Pots- 
dam, of the agreements about their country. The responsibility of the 
Polish government for the administration of the territories within the 
described boundaries was confirmed, he said, in accordance with its 

* Stalin was prevailed on jo forgo his demand that Italy be jeguired to pap rrparationx 
The Soviet delegation had contended that it ought to be made to pay, tince it had caused 
»o much havoc to all the allies. The Russian view was that it could pay six hundred mil- 
lion dollars over a six-year period. But the Americans and British denied that possibility, 
pointing out that they had already felt it necessary to *end a half-hillion dollars’ worth of 
goods to Italy to prevent disease and unrest, and that any reparations would come out of 
their own purse*. The Rob fans, rather than prolong the conference, gave in. 

[ 2 * 7 ] 

desires. Moreover, the Russians had agreed to withdraw their armies 
from these areas, except those along the lines of transit across Poland. 
Then the President went on to refer to the other features of the con- 
ference resolutions on Polish affairs: the transfer of Polish property 
abroad to the Provisional Government; the agreement to help Polish 
soldiers and civilians abroad to return to Poland; the confirmation of 
the condition that the Polish Provisional Government was to hold free 
elections as soon as possible. All, he ended, were unanimous decisions. 

Bierut thanked him formally. Mikolajczyk thanked him personally. 
The Polish Communists were most justified in their satisfaction. From 
this time on the Americans and the British could not effectively deter 
them. Much as they might need and want economic aid from the west, 
they could get along without it if the Soviet Union stood by them. 10 

Since I cannot always resist noting the ironies of history, let me add 
one other reflection about the Polish frontier — brought to mind by 
certain current events. Suppose the Americans and British had had 
their way, instead of the Poles and Russians, and the line between 
Germany and Poland had been set further to the east. In that event, 
the eastern part of Germany — the area that was the Soviet zone — would 
presumably now be larger and more populous, and have greater coal, 
industrial, and land resources. Thus it would be more able to challenge 
the effort of West Germany — formed out of the American, British, and 
French zones— to represent all Germany. Poland would have been 
weaker, perhaps less afraid of future German attempts to regain its 
territory, but perhaps more dependent than it is on the Soviet Union. 
The way the situation has worked out up to now is one of those num- 
berless instances in history which show how often results are different 
from anticipations. This is no excuse for not trying to be foresighted. 
But it is a reason for recognizing how hard it is to be. 

Throughout the discussion of frontiers in Central Europe the thoughts 
of the British and the Americans were darkened by worry over what was 
to be done about the millions of Germans who had been living in the 

In the Protocol the provision about frontiers was slightly reworded and read: ‘‘The 
three heads of government agree that, pending the final determination of Poland’s western 
frontier, the former German territories east of a line running from the Baltic Sea im- 
mediately nest of SwinemCnde, and thence along the Oder River to the confluence of 
the western Neisse River and along the Western Neisse to the Czechoslovak frontier, in- 
cluding that portion of East Prussia not placed under the administration of the Union 
of Soviet Socialist Republics ... and including the former Free Csty of Danzig, shall 
be under the adminirtration of the Polish state and for such porposes should not be con- 
sidered as part of the Soviet zone of occupation of Germany.” 

I 268] 


parts of Germany taken over by the Russians and the Poles, and in 
Czechoslovakia 3 nd Hungary. 

In the section of East Prussia that was being absorbed into the Soviet 
Union, some hundreds of thousands of Germans had made their homes. 
But by the summer of 1945 almost all of them either had been taken 
captive or had fled before the Red Army. In the other former sections 
of eastern Germany — including those nominally in the Soviet zone but 
actually in control of the Poles— there had formerly been some eight 
million Germans. How many of these had remained there, and out of 
captivity, was in dispute. The Poles and Russians professed that almost 
all had gone, leaving the towns, the farms, the factories, and the mines 
abandoned. But the best official estimates of Washington and London 
were that between two and three million still remained, though each 
day many thousands more were fleeing or being cast out . 11 In that part 
of Czechoslovakia known as the Sudetenland some two and a half mil- 
lion Germans had lived. Some were prisoners of the Russians and Czechs 
and others had fled. But it was thought that over a million— perhaps 
many more— still lingered. 

The Soviet government regarded the historic experience as finished. 
The Germans who had surged east had been sent running back to the 
west. It felt no obligation to care about their condition or fate. Neither 
did the Poles, so many of whom had lived through the years of agony 
under the Germans. 1 * They wanted all that still were in the area assigned 
to them to leave quickly to make room for their own people. The Poles 
Were moving west out of areas east of the Curzon Line and from crowded 
and poor regions elsewhere in Poland. They were eager to take pos- 
session and begin to produce wanted food and coal and start on the 
work of rebuilding. The attitude of the Czech authorities, inflamed by 
similar memories and inspired by similar purposes, was the same. 

The American and British governments recognized how strong, and 
in a way just, was the wish and will of these nations to thrust the 
Germans back into what was left of Germany. They were distressed, 
however, at the suffering that abrupt expulsion was causing old and 
young, poor and rich, healthy and sick. They thought it the duty of 
any humane people to subdue their impulse to punish and to show com- 

11 A vivid and well -detailed account of the ezpolsion of the Germans from Silesia is 
to be found in Rozek, Allied Wartime Diplomacy, pages 70-74. 

12 The Polish military losses had been heavy, about a.j million Poles had been 
transported to Germany as forced laborers, and about 3 million Polish Jews had been 
exterminated in ghetto, and concentration camps, Zachadaia Agencyau Pratet u, sum- 
marizing a report made in 1947 by the Office of War Reparations of the Polish Gov- 

I 269] 

passion for those who were losing their homes. They foresaw that the 
more miserable the experience of the migrants, the more likely would 
it be that they would remain hostile to the states in the east which 
had cast them out, and look long for a chance for revenge. And they 
were worried over how they could, within their ravaged zones of oc- 
cupation in Germany, take care of this influx of millions. How were 
they to he fed and given medical care} where were they to be housed; 
how was work to be found for them; how could they be prevented from 
being a threat to dvil order? 

For these reasons the American and British governments tried to turn 
this flight of Germans into a gradual and orderly movement adjusted 
to the means and measures for taking care of the migrants and resettling 
them. Once they had the hopeful idea that the Russians and Poles 
might be willing to have the Allied Control Council work out some 
plan to that end — acceptable to the governments of the countries of 
departure. But they found out that Stalin was grimly indifferent to 
what was happening. When Churchill said that it was necessary to give 
thought to where the Germans would go, Stalin’s first comment was 
that the Czechs had already evacuated those in the Sudetenland into 
the Russian zone of Germany, throwing them out on two hours’ notice. 
Obviously he thought there was nothing to be done about that. Church- 
ill answered that that might be so, but something might be done about 
the Germans that the Poles were thrusting out of areas within the zone 
originally assigned to Russia. Stalin said they were allowing about a 
million and a half Germans to remain until the harvest was over, and 
they would then force this remainder to leave also — for they were taking 
revenge on the Germans for injuries the Germans had caused them 
over the centuries. Churchill, with Truman supporting him, maintained 
that the Poles did not have the right to expel Germans from what was 
part of the Soviet zone into the American and British zones, where 
there was too little food and fuel. 

In deference to their protests, Stalin did agree to ask the three For- 
eign Ministers to try to develop a program for the regulation of this 
forced return of Germans. A proposal was made to entrust the Control 
Council with the duty of striving to insure that it was carried out with 
care and foreright. Molotov did not turn down the idea of such joint 
supervision. But he advanced the opinion that all that the Council would 
be able to do was to prevent the Germans from crossing into Germany; 
it could not give orders to the governments of Poland, Hungary, or 
Czechoslovakia. Sir Alexander Cadogan, who was acting as spokesman 



for Britain until Bevin arrived in Potsdam, thought that these govern- 
ments might be prevailed on to cooperate. 

The Heads of Government took up the subject again on the 31st, 
after they had at last reached accord on Poland’s western frontier. Be- 
fore them was a proposal originating with the Foreign Ministers which, 
among other provisions, called on the Polish, Czechoslovakian, and 
Hungarian governments to suspend further expulsions pending an 
examination by the Control Council as to how they could be well man- 
aged. Both Molotov and Stalin found reasons for critical indifference. 
Molotov said that the recommendation was apt to be misconstrued. 
Stalin said he was doubtful whether it could be carried out, since all 
three governments were asserting that the Germans wanted to leave 
and that they did not wish to stop them from doing so. Let us find out 
whether that is so, Byrnes argued, by adopting this proposal. If the 
Germans were leaving of their own free will, the attempt would have 
no effect, but it would do no harm. If, as he believed, these governments 
were making it either impossible or unsafe for them to remain, it 
might lead to an orderly solution. In the end Stalin shrugged and said 
he would agree to the effort to find out if any such arrangement would 
be of use. For this Truman expressed appreciation. Perhaps, he re- 
marked, the document would not change the situation very much, but 
it would help. 1 * 

But before the Control Council was well enough organized to carry 
out this assignment, the main inflow of miserable refugees was well 
under way. The roads were crammed day and night with destitute 
human beings looking for a place in which to rest or stay, and the 
military governments in the western zones were being forced to take 
temporary care of several million Germans from the east. 

11 The statement on this subject is in paragraph ao of the Protocol, printed in Supple- 

[ 2 7 * 1 

35- A Backward Glance at the Accords about 

Before going on to what was done about the other situations dealt with 
at Potsdam, we may pause long enough for a few short reflections on 
the several accords having to do with Germany. The impulse to look 
back is quickened by the transformation that has since taken place in the 
relation of Germany to the war allies. Even though any conclusions 
that now come to mind must be curved if not controlled by the later 
experience, they may be granted a page or two. 

The Potsdam accords were not, in intention or in effect, unjust or 
cruel to the Germans. The central conceptions — to allow the Germans 
to experience the same kind of deprivation and misery they had brought 
on others; to cast out and debar from influence those who had served 
the Nazi cause ardently; to reduce German industrial power to make 
war; to forbid the Germans all military forms and organizations; to 
redirect their political life in the hope of shaping it into a peaceful de- 
mocracy — all these were good. 

But the nature of the effort needed to effectuate them was not ap- 
preciated: the sturdy intent, the patience and superior skill and character 
that would be required of all four executors. They were defying the past 
and trying to change the pattern and values of German national life. 
To do that they would have to dominate their own fears and rivalries, 
be true to their common vows, and live in unassailable trust and mutual 
regard. Otherwise, no matter how complete, coherent, and clear the 
statements signed, how full the power of the four to command Germany, 
failure and fury would follow. And in various ways the accords were 
- neither complete, coherent, nor clear. 

Reviewing what has happened since, the mind is impelled to seek 
other possible courses that might have served the world better. Boldly, 
some may be suggested. If they stand up at all, it is only as a group. 

1) Even though it might have caused the collapse of the conference 
and the Poles might have refused to retreat, assent should have been 
refused to the extension of Polish administration beyond the eastern 

2) The contemplated period of joint occupation and control of 
Germany should have been much shorter — only long enough to carry 
out definite measures such as disarmament, the destruction of the Nazi 
system, and arrest of war criminals. 



3) It should have been stipulated that as soon as these tasks were 
done all foreign forces would leave Germany, and the zonal system of 
control would be ended. 

4) Instead of prolonged occupation, the four powers should have 
(a) worked out adequate permanent arrangements for inspection in 
Germany to assure the effectiveness of the ban on arms; (b) entered, 
along with other European member states of the United Nations, into 
a mutual protection pact against possible future German aggression; and 
(c) compelled Germany to agree to remain permanently neutral. 

5) The plan of reparations should have been differently conceived. 
It might have included the acquisition of some German industrial plants, 
those not needed for peaceful production even in thriving times. But 
the main source of reparations should have been future German pro- 
ductivity, over not too long a period of years, increased as that revived. 
The total could have been stated as a part or percent of that production 
—to be made available in kind. 

The only value now of such a retrospective sketch of the other routes 
that could have been followed is to sustain the view that the subsequent di- 
vision of Germany and the dangerous struggle over its affairs might 
have been averted. But this is a belief that must appeal more to faith 
than to history. The agonizing tendencies that surge out of the record 
of the past challenge it. Seldom have nations, after so deep a war, worked 
out arrangements that did not bring on later conflicts. Seldom have 
war coalitions between great powers lasted. For survival itself, however, 
the nations must now transcend the usual run of history. They cannot 
undo what has been done. But each can and must henceforth, by word 
and act, make up for the failure at Potsdam to turn victory over Ger- 
many into unfearing peace among themselves. 


36. Austria 

When the Heads of Government gathered at Potsdam, the Soviet au- 
thorities -were still barring the way into Vienna and hindering the ad- 
vance of the American and British contingents into their zones. On 
July 16, General Petrov, Chief of Staff for Koniev, the Soviet Com- 
mander in Chief in Austria, had bluntly told the American, British, and 
French Deputy Commanders (Gruenther, Winterton, and Cherriere) 
that they would have to wait until their governments had ratified the 
accords still under discussion in the EAC. But he had agreed that spe- 
cialist officers of the four countries might meet in Vienna to discuss the 
use of roads, railways, and airfields, incident to the prospective joint 
occupation of the city. The visitors had found the Soviet officials oblig- 
ing and reasonable. Their work enabled the Deputy Commanders to 
clear away the remaining differences about the use of airfields in Vienna, 
the dimensions and locations of the sectors, and related matters. On 
learning from the Chiefs of Staff of the progress made, Truman on 
July 19 authorized Winant to give notice that the American government 
approved the accord on zones, and on the next day the President signed 
the formal document. 

But Churchill, either because news was not conveyed to him so quickly 
or because he wished to make it plain that he thought the Soviet govern- 
ment had behaved in an unfriendly way, complained about the Austrian 
situation at his meeting with Truman and Stalin on the 20th. Two full 
months before, he recalled, the British government had “humbly” asked 
that British officers be allowed to go to Vienna to look into accommoda- 
tions there. After many talks and petitions, consent had been given. 
But the British troops were being kept out of Vienna, and prevented 
from taking over that part of Styria that was assigned to them. The 
Soviet forces had liberated Austria three or four months ago. How 
much longer were its allies to be compelled to wait before they were 
received as equals? Their right to ask an end to the delay was all the 
greater since they had retreated into their own occupation zones in 

Stalin answered quietly. Could the newcomers fairly expect to take 
up their positions in Austria and Vienna until the agreements determin- 
ing them had been completed? Now that this had been done, the troop 
movements could begin that very day or the next. He wished also to 
comment on a report made by Field Marshal Alexander, to which 
Churchill had referred, reproaching the Russian government for the 

[ 274 ] 


situation. Alexander was himself to blame for some of the troubles 
in arranging for the advance of British troops into their zone. He had 
spoken and acted as though Soviet troops were under his control. That 
had caused ill-feeling. Churchill defended Alexander. He reminded 
Stalin that the American military commanders directing the movement 
into the American zone in Austria were also far from satisfied. Truman 
agreed. But this brisk examination of the reasons for the long enforced 
halt ended amiably. 

Within a few days the movement into zones was well under way. The 
first arriving American and British officials found great congestion in 
their zones— especially in Linz and Salzburg, where many thousands of 
Germans and Hungarians were staying until they could be evacuated. So 
the American and British commanders paused before sending their na- 
tional garrisons into Vienna. They waited until they knew whether their 
governments were going to have to support the people in their sectors. 
Formerly the whole city had obtained its supply of food from eastern 
Austria. Would the Soviet authorities tabs all the surplus food in their 
zone for the Red Army, or for export to Russia, and leave none for 
the western sectors of Vienna and of Austria? 

Alexander was summoned to Potsdam. As he entered the conference 
room (at the Seventh Plenary Session on July 23) Stalin rose from 
his chair and walked round the table to shake his hand. Alexander and 
Churchill explained that they did not have the food to provide for the 
five hundred thousand people in the British sector of Vienna. Truman 
said that the United States did not have enough transport to send food 
for those in the American sector — some three hundred and seventy- 
five thousand. They desired, therefore, that Russia would see to it that 
the people of the city were fed from the east, as before. Stalin showed 
doubt whether the food situation in Vienna was really worrisome. He 
would talk it over with Marshal Koniev. 

The next day he informed Churchill and Truman that the Red 
Army was ready to issue rations to all zones in Vienna until such time 
as the British and Americans could make other arrangements. They 
had to be satisfied with that retractable promise. The first Western 
troop units marched into Vienna a few days after the conference at Pots- 
dam dispersed. 

The Control Council did not begin to function until over a month 
later. The Russians were slow in sending instructions to Marshal Koniev, 
who was to be the Soviet member. He was reported to be ill. Then 


General Mark Clark, who was to be the American member, was delayed 
on a good-will mission to Brazil. The arrangements for feeding Vienna 
were still not completed, nor were they when the Control Council met 
formally in Vienna for the first time, on September n. At the end of 
that meeting the members of the Council issued a statement to the 
Austrian people, declaring that they were assuming supreme authority 
in Austria on matters affecting the country as a whole. 

The directives that the American and British governments had issued 
to their prospective representatives on the Control Council were in ac- 
cord with the intentions long since announced by all three members of 
the coalition. Austria was to be treated as a liberated country, free and 
independent within its former frontiers. Nazis were to be expelled and 
all German domination was to be ended. All military organizations 
were to be dissolved. The production of weapons was prohibited and all 
facilities specially designed or adapted to produce them were to be 
transferred, converted, or destroyed. Military control was to be exer- 
cised for these ends. It was also to seek to develop a sound Austrian 
economy devoted to peaceful pursuits and not dependent on Germany. 
Local self-government and the formation of a freely elected govern- 
ment were to be fostered. As soon as these were established the Aus- 
trians were to be given a chance to run the country under allied guid- 
ance and supervision. In economic matters Austria was to be regarded 
as a unit— with freedom of domestic trade and a centralized system of 
currency, finance, and transport . 1 

It was hoped that the instructions to the Soviet member of the Council 
were shaped on the same principles. 

The question was put to the test in the Potsdam tussle over whether 
or not Austria was to be made to pay reparations. The Americans and 
the British had gone to Potsdam resolved to resist the Soviet demand 
for a mortgage on the Austrian economy, and if compelled to agree to it 
in principle, to restrict it in practice. They were aroused by the way in which 
the Russians were carrying out of Austria all kinds of equipment and re- 
serve stocks, on the score that it had all belonged to the Germans (which 
much of it had) . This meant, they foresaw, that they would have to give 
economic and financial aid to the Austrians, even if the pillage ended. The 
conclusion, as set down in the paper in the American Briefing Book, was 
that a program of reparations "limited to the transfer of existing capital 
equipment clearly in excess of the healthy peacetime requirements of the 

'The full text of the detailed Directne issued on June 17, 1945, 
C3axk ii ia the State Department BulUtin of October a*, 1945. 

General Marie 



Austrian economy, such as machinery in the armament plants erected 
since 1938 . . . need not necessarily conflict with the policy of this 
government.” 2 

The Russians at first proposed that the Austrians be compelled to 
deliver over a six-year period industrial products to the value of two 
hundred and fifty million dollars, and maintained that they could do so. 
Byrnes, upheld by Cadogan, refused to agree to the imposition of any 
fixed obligation, or to any transfer except of machinery in war industries 
of no use for producing anything but weapons. Molotov went into a 
tirade: the Austrians ought not to go unpunished, since they had caused 
great damage and suffering to the Russian people. 

This was at the Ninth Meeting of the Foreign Ministers, on July 
27, while the dash over German reparations and Polish frontiers was 
most tense. But in the end, after these other issues were settled, Stalin 
gave in. Having consented to the rejection of the Soviet proposal, he 
said he was willing to have it recorded in the Protocol that “It was 
agreed that reparations should not be exacted from Austria.” He asked, 
however, that this decision not be made known. As Molotov explained, 
publication might tie the hands of the occupying authorities unneces- 
sarily; it was better to let the Austrians hope for this leniency than to 
know it had been granted. 3 Presumably what he had in mind was that 
if the Austrians did not know that he had agreed to renounce repara- 
tions, they would be less troublesome over Russian exactions under 
another name, or no name at all. 

As part of the settlement, however, Truman and Attlee deeded to 
the Soviet Union all German assets in the Soviet zone of Austria, pos- 
sibly because they thought the Russians would take them over with or 
without permission. The Soviet government subsequently claimed that 
almost all the large plants in eastern Austria were German-built or 
owned by Nazis, and therefore legitimate forfeit. 

The policies confirmed at Potsdam reflected the difference between 
the victors’ attitudes toward the Germans and toward the Austrians. 
This was evident in every phase of their conduct and experience in 

2 Potsdam Pipers, Document *7j. 

* Potsdam Pipers, Cohen Notes. 

_ * This ha* been well described and analysed in a perceptive later review of tbe opera- 
tions of the Allied Council in Balfour, page* j 11-20, which ends with the comment: 
"Finally . . . there was a difference of character between the Austrian and German 
peoples. ... It mj symbolized in their preference for the light comedies of Mozart as 
against the massive heroics of Wagner. There can have been few members of tbe Allied 
Commission who remained wholly unaffected by its subtle and disarming influence." 


37* Yugoslavia and Greece 

Even though troubles with and over Yugoslavia had continued to ruffle 
relations between the allies, they were given only passing attention at 
Potsdam. Churchill and Truman tried to induce Stalin to join them in 
pleas or pressure directed toward Tito. They were still seeking to get 
the Yugoslav leader to comply with their view of accords into which 
he had entered: his agreement with Alexander for the division of control 
over the Italian province of Venezia Giulia (including Trieste and the 
Istrian Peninsula) ; and his compact with Subasic (the last Prime Min- 
ister of the Royal Yugoslav Government-in-Exile) about the balance 
of political elements in his government and measures for converting it 
into a representative democracy on Western lines. But to follow what 
was done at Potsdam about these two running causes of dissatisfaction, 
let us pause and look back. 

It may be recalled that in late May an accord between the western 
allies and Tito, on the division of Venezia Giulia into separate zones of con- 
trol, was coming into sight. But it had remained out of reach. 

On May 31, while Hopkins was still in Moscow, Truman had re- 
ported on the situation to Stalin. Tito, he said, was trying to impose 
troublesome conditions on his acceptance of the proposed arrangement. 
The Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean (Alexander) must 
have adequate authority in the area under AMG to carry out his task 
and protect the interests of all concerned. He must have final say about 
the way in which dvil administration was carried out therein, and about 
the number of Yugoslav troops that might remain. Churchill sent word 
to Stalin that he concurred in these opinions. 

In the wake of these messages to Stalin, the American and British 
Ambassadors had handed Tito a note explaining the attitude of their 
governments and submitting the text of the accord into which they 
were ready to enter. After a week of talk between General Morgan, 
speaking for Alexander, and Yugoslav military representatives, an 
agreement emerged. Having been approved by the Combined Chiefs, 
it had been signed on June 9 by the Ambassadors and the Yugoslav 
Foreign Minister. Since almost all those sections of Venezia Giulia in 
which the Italians were most numerous were kept out of Tito’s grasp, 
it was foreseen that the Italians would not make too much of an outcry. 

The province was divided into two zones of temporary occupation 
along what came to be known as the Morgan Line. The area west of 


the line— Zone A, which included Trieste, the railways and roads from 
there to Austria via Gorizia, Caporetto, and Tarvisio, as well as Pola 
(on the Istrian Peninsula) — was to be under the command and con- 
trol of the Supreme Allied Commander. Yugoslav forces in that area 
were to be limited to two thousand troops, and be subject to the allied 
command ; the rest were to be withdrawn. It was stipulated that while 
the area was under Allied Military Government, “Use will be made of 
any Yugoslav civil administration which is already set up and which 
in the view of the Supreme Allied Commander is working satisfactorily. 
The Allied Military Government will, however, be empowered to use 
whatever civil authorities they deem best in any particular place and to 
change administrative personnel at their discretion.” The area east 
of the line, Zone B, was left in Yugoslav control. 

Ritualistic form had been observed in the last article: “This agreement 
in no way prejudices or affects the ultimate disposal of Venezia Giulia 
west of the line. Similarly the military occupation and administration 
by Yugoslavia of the parts of Venezia Giulia east of the line in no way 
prejudices or affects the ultimate disposal of that area.” 1 

This accord, it had turned out, was neither complete nor conclusive. 
Within a fortnight new quarrels had started. The British and American 
governments were offended by Yugoslav removals of property and 
conscription of Italians in Zone B. They asserted that this contravened 
the understanding. The Yugoslavs denied the charge, on the score that 
the Belgrade agreement did not ban the seizure as “war booty” of in- 
dustrial plants owned or operated by “Fascists.” On the other side of the 
line, Allied Military Government concluded that it could not fuse in its 
operations the local governments and courts that Y ugoslavs had set up 
in the area with the older and very different Italian system of ad- 
ministration. Nor was it found feasible to adopt a dual system, allowing 
the Yugoslav committee system to operate in communes with a Slovene 
majority, and the Italian system of prefectural administration in com- 
munes with an Italian majority. Thus AMG proceeded to supplant the 
Yugoslav-sponsored organizations. Tito regarded this as a violation 
that justified him in transgressing other provisions. 3 The American and 
British governments warned him (on June 15) that they took a serious 
view of what they regarded as Yugoslav derelictions. 

General Morgan, Chief of Staff in SAC, with assurance enough to 

1 U.S., Department of State, Executive Agreement, Serie* 501. 

s An analytical account of these difficult!** is to be found in Karris, page* 3*1-46, 
whejt details cot related here are clearly and impartially recounted. 


treat Alexander’s orders as guidance, not commands, had planed away 
some of the abrasive edges of the first accord— in a supplementary 
one signed at Monfalcone on June 20. But others remained. The 
sharpest of these was the question whether the local Yugoslav admin- 
istrations in the AMG zone were to be ousted and replaced by Italian 
forms and persons. 

Then on the 2ist, Stalin, under the impression that the negotiations 
were still at an impasse, had espoused Tito’s views, in messages to 
Truman and Churchill. He attributed the trouble to the refusal of the 
Allied Command to entertain even the minimum wishes of the Yugo- 
slavs, to whom, Stalin went on, credit was due for liberating the area 
from German invaders, an area moreover where the Yugoslav popula- 
tion predominated. He said he was loath to aggravate the situation, 
but felt impelled now to stress the opinion that the haughty tone used 
by Alexander in dealing with the Yugoslavs was inadmissible; his in- 
discretion, in a public address, in comparing Tito with Hitler and Mus- 
solini was unfair and insulting to Yugoslavia.* The message had concluded, 
however, with a calm statement of hope that the rightful interests of 
the Yugoslavs would be respected, especially since on the man points 
they had met the allies halfway. 

Churchill’s answer (dated June 24) had ignored the complaints. He 
hoped that as the situation had now been “happily adjusted” at Belgrade 
(Monfalcone) they might, if necessary, discuss the position when they 
met at Berlin. He added that although he had not seen the terms of 
Alexander’s statement before it was issued, he could assure Stalin that 
Alexander was entirely well disposed toward both Russia and Marshal 
Tito, and that he was sure that Marshal Tolbukhin would confirm this 
opinion. 4 

* Alexander had nid “Marshal Tito’s apparent intention to establish his claims by 
force of arms . . . [is] all too reminiscent of Hitler, Mussolini and Japan. It is to pre- 
sent such actions that we have been fighting this war.” Nevj York Times, May ao, 194J. 

4 This short message is in Stalin Correspondence, vol. t, page 170. This collection 
does not contain the longer and more vigorous rejoinder to Stalin, dated June aj, which 
Churchill (in TriumfA and Tragedy, pages J60-61) states that he sent in answer to 
Stalin's message of June 21 1 and Churchill does not refer to the shorter message of 
which I have given the substance 

In this longer answer Churchill bluntly accused Tito of using violent pressure to take 
territory to which he was not entitled. And he forthrightly refused to make any excuses 
for Alexander's public criticism of Tito’s tactics He concluded with a fling at the menac- 
ing Russian expansion ■ ‘‘It seems to me that a. RirsiiAVtsd ItcMwt ramamg (sum l^beet 
through Eisenach to Trieste and down to Albania is a matter which requites a very great 
deal of argument conducted between good friends." 

It may be surmised that the longer message was written before Churchill received 
«ord of the supplementary military accord that had been signed by General Morgan on 
June to at Monfalcone. Morgan may base deferred dispatch of the news and substance 



Truman, who was in Olympia, Washington, had been informed of 
the concluded accord — which may have caused him too to moderate his 
answer to Stalin. This asserted that due regard had been shown to the 
legitimate interests of both the Yugoslavs and the Italian populations. 
He repeated the point that the Allied Commander in his zone must 
have adequate authority to carry out the tasks entrusted to him and 
safeguard the interests of all concerned. In that connection Truman 
pointed out that no effort had been made to interfere with the respon- 
sibility of the Yugoslav commander in the region entrusted to him 
east of the Morgan Line. Referring to the “fundamental principle” of 
the agreement of June 9 — that no action could be permitted that would 
prejudice the ultimate disposal of the area — the President said he had 
the impression that the Yugoslav government might not have made 
clear to the local commanders the full meaning of the accord. But, hav- 
ing upheld the opinion that Tito was being fairly treated, Truman 
like Churchill remarked that they would have the chance at Potsdam to 
talk over “any further aspect of the agreement” which Stalin felt ought 
to be considered. 5 

Stalin, in terse acknowledgments, had said that he did think there 
were points that needed clarification, and that he was ready to examine 
them at their prospective meeting. 

Before setting off for Potsdam, Churchill and Truman had heard 
again from Alexander and the Italian government. Alexander reported 
that Yugoslavs were still trying to provoke trouble and to discredit the 
allied authorities in their zone by strikes, such as the one going on at 
the time in Trieste. The Italian government was bothered more by the 
way in which the Yugoslavs, in that section of Venezia Giulia under 
their control, were taking away the property of the Italians, mistreat- 
ing them, and drafting them into the Yugoslav army. 

Tito and Subasic joined in messages to Truman and Churchill, while 
they were in Potsdam, which once again accused AMG of reinstating 
Fascist laws and administrators. They appealed for the use of the “dem- 
ocratic institutions” that the Yugoslavs had set up in Yugoslavia. And 

of the accord until after he had a chance to explain and justify 3t in a meeting- at SAC 
on June asj there he related how hard it had lien to negotiate with the Yugoslavs, and 
how necessary it had been to give and tale in order to get General Jovanovic to sign the 
document. Message from Ambassador Kirk to Secretary of State, June it: Potsdam 
Papers, Document jjS. 

Whether this longer message was actually sent, and then followed op by the shorter 
one, which evidently reached Stalio, I leave for other* to £od out. 

8 Potsdam Papers, Document 570. 

they urged that elections for local governments be held very soon in 
all the part of Venezia Giulia under Allied Military Government . 6 But 
the three Heads of Government evidently judged that although these 
converging complaints were trying, the danger of real trouble was past. 
In any case they derided to leave them to ordinary diplomatic discus- 

But they did spend time arguing over the form and future of the 
Yugoslav government. Was it to be a dictatorship in which only Tito’s 
adherents would have power, or was it to be turned into a represent- 
ative democracy in which a diversity of political parties might contest 
for office and freely advocate their policies? 

Again we must glance backward. Tito had continued to ignore the 
advice that the Heads of Government, together at Yalta, had passed 
on to him . 7 The various peoples in Yugoslavia had not been given a 
free chance to choose their form of government or select their rulers. 
The National Liberation Front (Tito and parties that supported him 
and his ideas and actions) had kept dominant control of all executive 
powers. Membership in the legislature had not been made more in- 
clusive. In all six of the “federal” states that had been set up, Tito’s 
friends were installed in office without consulting popular opinion. The 
political police were repressing all opposition. Political committees were 
acting as courts and making law as they went along. Those who did 
not belong to the favored groups were given smaller food rations than 
those who did. Industry was being rapidly taken over by the govern- 
ment, and all external trade brought under its control. 

Despite inducements offered by Tito for their cooperation, Subasif 
and other political leaders had abstained. They had counted on outside 
support to enable them to resist and to continue to fight for an open, 
free political system. The American and British governments — provoked 

* liiJ , Document no?. 

' This, it may be recalled, wai directed toward effectuating the agreements signed by 
Tito and Subasic on November i, 1944. One of the agreements had stipulated that “The 
new government will publish a declaration proclaiming the fundamental principles of 
democratic liberties and guaranteeing their application. Personal freedom, freedom from 
fear, freedom of worship, liberty of conscience, freedom of speech, liberty of the press, 
freedom of assembly and association will be specially emphasized and guaranteed; and 
in the same way the right of property and private initiative.” A second agreement had 
provided that elections for a constituent assembly were to be held within three months 
after the liberation of the whole country— in accordance with a law on elections which 
would guarantee a secret ballot and the right of all political parties that had not col- 
laborated with the enemy to present lists of candidates. The text of the Tito-Subasic ac- 
cords is given in U.S., Department of State, Tht Canfertitcet at Malta and Yalta, pages 

( 284 ) 


as they were by Tito’s bold attempt to get and keep control over the 
whole of Venezia Giulia — had resolved they would not be friendly with 
his regime or give it economic aid unless it corrected its course. Curiously, 
they seem to have hoped that they could induce Stalin, when he was in 
their presence at Potsdam, to join them in laying down the law to Tito 
— in telling him that they thought it essential that truly free and dem- 
ocratic elections be held in his country, as a prelude to the operation of 
a constitutional government. 

At Potsdam, Truman looked to Churchill to pursue the matter. The 
Prime Minister’s first try showed that he was not going to have an 
easy success. On the 18th, when he dined with Stalin, he reviewed the 
troubles his government was having with Tito. Harking back to the 
compact he had made with Stalin when he was in Moscow at the end 
of 1944, that they should have equal influence in Yugoslavia, Church- 
ill lamented that Britain had none at all. Whereupon Stalin said it could 
not have less than the Soviet government, which often did not know 
what Tito was about to do. That may have been nearer the truth than 
it was thought to be at the time.* 

On the next day the Prime Minister submitted a proposal that in 
substance would, first, put the three allies on record as being of the 
opinion that the principles set out in the Tito-Subasic agreement had 
not been put into practice j and second, lead to the issuance of a joint 
statement recalling that they had recognized the Yugoslav government 
in the belief that the agreement would be effective, and saying they 
expected it to be carried out in the near future. 

Stalin thought they could not discuss the question unless the Yugo- 
slavs were present — or in any event could not achieve results without 
them. Why not, he asked, call representatives of the Yugoslav govern- 
ment to Potsdam? Churchill asked whether Stalin meant Tito or Subasic. 
Stalin said they could call in anyone. In that way they could find out 
whether Churchill was correct in thinking there were extreme differences 
among the Yugoslavs; the Yugoslav government should not be put on 
trial without being heard. Churchill agreed this was not a bad idea. But 
Truman objected. He is recorded as saying that he was in Potsdam “as 
a representative of the United States to discuss world affairs. He did not 
nosh to sit here as a court to settle matters that trould eventually be 
settled by the UNO. If we do that, we shall become involved in trying 

*Even though Tito, in * speech he made on June i 7 which caused grimace* in the 
ate Department and the Foreign Office, had *aid Tong live our great ally, the Soviet 


to settle every political difficulty and will have to listen to a succession 
of representatives, de Gaulle, Franco and others. He did not wish to 
waste time listening to complaints but wished to deal with the prob- 
lems which the three Heads of Government had come here to settle. 
If they could not do that their time was wasted.”® Whereupon Stalin, 
who a moment before had argued that they could not do anything 
about the situation unless the Yugoslavs were heard, now heartily 
agreed that it was not necessary to hear them. He remarked that he 
found Truman’s observation “correct.” Churchill was taken aback. 
Stalin suggested that they pass on to another topic. 

Just before the conference adjourned, the Secretary of State received 
word from our Embassy in Belgrade that the three chief dissenting 
political leaders, one of whom was Subasic, were proposing new laws 
regarding the enlargement of the legislative body, the constituent 
assembly, elections, and voting procedure. But they did not think they 
could bring about such important changes without Western support. 
The Chargd expressed the belief that this was the last chance for the 
great powers to display support for the principles for which these men 
were striving. But by then it was too late to summon the Yugoslavs to 
Potsdam. And there was no reason to believe that Stalin had changed 
his mind and would approve any statement encouraging reform of the 
government unless the Yugoslavs had been given the same chance to 
justify their action as the Poles. So no new initiative was taken. 

The discussion of the Yugoslav internal situation was the more 
touchy because at the time excited broadcasts and editorials in the Yugo- 
slav radio and press were accusing the Greek government of persecut- 
ing Slav minorities in Greek Macedonia and provoking frontier inci- 
dents. Some even went to the extreme of accusing the governing circles 
of Greece of intent to invade Yugoslav territory and to persuade Brit- 

9 Potsdam Paper*, Minute*, Plenary Session, July 19. It is difficult to be sure what was 
in the President’s mind. The text of the American minutes could be read to mean either that 
he did not want to enter on a discussion of the Yugoslav political situation at all, which 
would be singular because he was insisting on discussion of the similar situation in Poland » 
or that he thought the three of them could tell the Yugoslavs what to do without consult- 
ing them, which seems belied by Stalin’s response. 

His own subsequent account of his statement leaves the impression that he was just 
impatiently drawing a line. “I told them frankly,” he recalls, “that I did not wish to 
waste time listening to grievances but wanted to deal with the problems which the three 
heads of government had come to settle. I said that if they did not get to the main issues 
1 was going to pack up and go home. I meant just that. Stalin laughed heartily and said 
he did not blame the President for wanting to go home, he wanted to go home too.” 
Vear 0/ Dtcuttnt, page j6o. 



ish troops in Greece to occupy Southern Albania. The Greek govern- 
ment was denying these allegations, and in turn was accusing Tito of 
sending armed bands into Greece and stirring up trouble wherever he 

The Sonet delegation at Potsdam submitted two proposals that were 
meant to be a warning and reproof to Greece. The British delegation 
submitted proposals that were meant to be a warning and reproof to 

It was apparent that none could win unanimous assent. So when at 
one of the late sessions of the conference Bevin suggested that they be 
dropped, Stalin quickly said “Yes, welcome,” and Truman said “I am 

Russian support before Potsdam of the agitation in the Yugoslav 
press and radio about alleged intentions of the Greeks was in line with 
the flow of comment in the Soviet press and radio about the government 
in office in Greece. It was accused, in concert with the British, of sup- 
pressing by force all democratic elements and denying political freedom 
and justice to the Greek people. Such statements were customary 
counter-attacks to Western assaults on the existing regimes in the 
countries of central and southeastern Europe that were Soviet wards. 

They had an element of truth in them; the Greek authorities were 
dealing harshly with their revolutionary opponents and trying to dis- 
perse their leadership. But measures were being shaped that would 
enable the Greek people to express their political opinions freely and 
without fear. Plans were being considered for elections for a constituent 
assembly and for a plebiscite to decide whether the country would re- 
tain or dismiss the monarchy. 

The American government, wishing to stay out of the Greek po- 
litical struggle, had hitherto left it to the British to bear the onus of 
intervention and support for the conservative coalition they had helped 
to power. But in June its reluctance had given way. How could it ig- 
nore charges not only by dissident groups in Greece and in Soviet 
circles, but by more impartial witnesses, that the elections in Greece 
would be controlled by the Greek government, while seeking assurance 
that they would be free and fair in Poland, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere 
in Europe? So when consulted by the British government in mid-June, 
it had recognized that it would have to make an active effort to assure 
creditable political conduct by the Greeks. 

On July 4 — just before leaving for Potsdam — Byrnes had signed a 
[ 287 ] 

memo to the President which had evolved out of talk between the 
State Department and the British Foreign Office. This had recom- 
mended that the American and British governments jointly tell the 
Greek government that they were willing to participate in the super- 
vision of the prospective Greek elections; and that they assumed the 
Greek government would want to ask the three Yalta powers (and 
conceivably France) to do so. Byrnes explained that his idea was to ask 
the War Department to provide five hundred qualified Americans for 
this assignment; and that he thought someone other than the Ambas- 
sador in Athens should head the group, in order not to risk prejudicing 
his status (presumably by involving him in arguments among the 
Greeks). Truman had at once approved the program . 10 

The British government had been so advised. But the statement of 
ideas which the State Department gave the British Embassy on July 5 
contained an additional point: that it also be recommended to the Greek 
government that elections for a constituent assembly precede the 
plebiscite on the monarchy — which might well be postponed until six 
months after an elected government took office. To this the Foreign 
Office objected. The suggestion, it stressed, was both contrary to the 
order of action on which the Greek factions had agreed, and most 
controversial; therefore the question whether the elections or the 
plebiscite should be held first should be left for the Greeks to decide. 
The American government agreed to omit the criticized provision . 11 

The British and American Ambassadors had made their parallel 
presentations to the Greek Prime Minister, Admiral Voulgaris, on July 
13. He agreed, making no objection to the prospect of Soviet member- 
ship in the on-looking group. The British Foreign Office had at once 
written out invitations to the Soviet and French governments to join 

10 It may be surmised that the sponsors of this program realized that even if the Greek 
government assented to such outside supervision of the elections, the Soviet government 
might excuse itself. This is indicated in a State Department Paper, “Elections in Greece,” 
from which Byrnes’ proposals were derived. One passage read; “In this connection, how- 
ever, it must be remembered that Marshal Stalin in a recent message to Prime Minister 
Churchill has stated his belief that the participation of foreign observers in the Greek 
elections would be an insult to the Greek people and an interference in Greek internal 
aSain. The Marshal is of course reluctant to see established a precedent which might be 
used to urge similar supervision of elections in other countries in Eastern Europe in the 
so-called Soviet sphere.” Potsdam Papers, Document 44 j. 

11 Acting Secretary of State Grew, in the instruction that he sent Ambassador Mac- 
Veagh on July u telling him to go ahead, after pointing out the omission, said: “How- 
evrr, if you think it advisable you may informally indicate to the Greek Government 
that the Department perceives no objection to modifying, reversing or combining pro- 
cedures for plebiscites and elections if mutually agreed upon by tbe Greeks themselves.” 
The available documents do not tell whether the Ambassador conveyed this message to 
the Greek government. 



in the supervision of the Greek elections. These glided over the issue 
whether the plebiscite should come before or after the elections by 
stating that the observers were to supervise “the forthcoming plebiscite 
and elections in Greece.” Copies of this text were given to the State De- 
partment and (on July 15) to the American group at Potsdam. 

Truman chose to put the program for Greece before Stalin as part 
of a general proposal for the “Implementation of the Yalta Declaration 
on Liberated Europe,” rather than by and of itself. The text intro- 
duced by him at the first session of July 17 suggested merely that “the 
three Governments consider how best to assist any interim governments 
in the holding of free and unfettered elections. Such assistance is im- 
mediately required in the case of Greece, and will in due course un- 
doubtedly be required in Romania and Bulgaria, and possibly other 
countries.” 1 * 

Churchill in his talk with Stalin on the next night was more explicit. 
After expressing the fiat opinion that the conference should make it 
plain to all the smaller Balkan countries, including Greece, that none 
would be allowed to trespass or fight, he suggested to Stalin that since 
Greece was to have a plebiscite and free elections “the Great Powers 
should send observers to Athens.” 13 Stalin said he thought this would 
show a want of confidence in the honesty of the Greek people. 

The written comment that Molotov presented a few days later (on 
July 20) at the meeting of Foreign Ministers was combative. The per- 
tinent section in regard to Greece read: “But there is one country — 
Greece — in which no due order still exists, where law is not respected, 
where terrorism rages directed against democratic elements which have 
borne the principal burden of the fight against German invaders for the 
liberation of Greece. ... In accordance with the aforesaid the Soviet 
government considers [it] necessary ... to recommend to the Regent 
of Greece [Damaskinos, Archbishop of Greece] to take immediate meas- 
ures toward the establishment of a democratic government.” 14 In the 
outspoken discussion that followed, Eden called the Soviet proposal 
on Greece “a complete travesty of fact.” He stressed that the press of 
the whole world would go to Greece and report, and that the Greek 
government had pledged itself to hold elections open to all parties and 
had invited observers from outside to regulate them. Molotov, need- 

12 Potsdim Pipers, Document 745. 

53 Triumfh and Tragedy, page 6j j. Churchill does not tell whether he made it 
dear that the intention was to hive the observers “supervise” the elections. 

14 Potsdam Papers, Document io«4. 


less to tell, only repeated charges. Nor was he silenced by Byrnes’ 
statement that the American government was impressed by the action 
of the Greek government in inviting all of them, the Soviet government 
as well as the American, British, and French, to supervise the elections. 
The argument came to a desultory end. 

The tedious later discussions led to a meager conclusion: that since 
they could not agree, they should abstain from any joint expression of 
attitude toward Greece or the next political measures to be taken by 
the Greek government. This left the British and American govern- 
ments free to act as they wanted. But the dissent of the Soviet govern- 
ment was another sign that the war allies would no longer be able to 
appear as one in their treatment of the countries of southeastern Europe. 
Nor, as will next be related, could they show a united front in their 
relations with Turkey. At Potsdam they veered away from each other 
when their thoughts went in that direction. 

[ 290 ] 

38. Turkey and the Black Sea Straits 

Stauin had been able to confirm the right to have and to hold all gains 
derived from the accord he had made with Hitler in 1939. But one of 
the notable facts about Soviet diplomacy at the time of Potsdam was 
the attempt to gamer as well those benefits that Hitler had refused to 

During Churchill’s visit to Moscow in October 1944, Stalin had 
said he would like to see a modification in the Montreux Convention 
regulating transit through and navigation in the Straits of the Bosporus 
and Dardanelles (from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean). 1 He 
thought Russian warships ought to have the right of passage at all 
times. Churchill, as a proof that the British government was no longer 
bent on preventing Russian entry to any or all of the seas of the world, 
had said that in principle he was not against a revision of the Conven- 

Stalin had reverted to the subject at Yalta. He again remarked that 
he thought it only fair that the Convention be revised, since Russia 
could no longer tolerate the fact that Turkey had “a hand on Russia’s 
throat.” How could it be done in such a way as not to harm Turkey’s 
legitimate interests? He proposed that the three Foreign Ministers 
(British, Russian, and American) might well consider this matter at 
their first meeting. Churchill responded amiably. He agreed that 
Russia’s use of the narrow exit from the Black Sea — on which its lands 
bordered — should not be subject to the volition of Turkey. He would 
be glad to have Eden talk this over with his colleagues. But he thought 
the Turks ought to be told that the subject was under discussion; and 
if and when the Convention was changed, Turkey should be given a 
joint guarantee of its independence and unity. Stalin seemed to be satis- 
fied with this response. Roosevelt’s only comment was tangential — that 
it would be wonderful if all national boundaries would eventually be 
unarmed and unfortified, like the U.S.-Canadian frontier. 

After Yalta, Turkey had put aside the guise of neutrality and de- 
clared war on Germany and Japan— thus becoming an ally. Neverthe- 
less the Soviet government had come to want more, nothing less in fact 

1 The Montreux Convention had been signed in July 1956 by Turkey, the Soviet 
Union, United Kingdom, France, Japan, and /cor Balkan countries. The United Stiles 
not a party to it. The provisions pertinent to the Soviet demand for revision are given 
in Supplementary Note 6. 


than command of the Straits. This was revealed when in June the 
Turkish government sought to enter into discussion about a new treaty 
in place of one that the Soviet government had denounced in March. 
Molotov, who had just returned to Moscow from San Francisco, told 
the Turkish Ambassador that before entering into a new accord it 
was thought best to settle various “outstanding questions.” 

The Soviet price for a treaty, as first reported to their governments 
by the British and American Embassies in Ankara, was threefold. The 
first requirement was the return to Russia of areas yielded to Turkey 
in 1921. That cession, Molotov remarked, had been arranged when the 
Russians were weak and now they were strong. Until that injustice 
was corrected the Soviet government could not discuss an accord 
whereby, presumably, it would pledge itself to respect, and maybe to 
defend, Turkey’s territorial integrity. Molotov, it was learned later, 
did not definitely describe the territorial change desired. But his words 
were taken by the Turkish government in Ankara to mean that the 
Soviet Union wanted the return of the vilayet of Kars, including 
Ardahan. Second, the Russians insisted on prior agreement between 
the two governments concerning the changes to be made in the 
Montreux Convention. Molotov stressed that under its existing pro- 
visions the fate of two hundred million Russians might be settled by 
Turkey. And the third requirement was assent to the maintenance of 
Soviet military bases on Turkish territory within range of the Bosporus. 
This, it may be interjected, was one of the conditions Molotov had 
laid down as far in the past as November 25, 1940, in the response 
he gave Schulenburg, the Nazi Ambassador in Moscow, to Hitler’s 
proposal that the Soviet Union join the Axis and agree with Germany 
on their respective spheres of influence.* Now at this later time Molotov 
justified the Soviet proposal on the score that the war experience had 
shown that Turkey, by itself, was not strong enough to defend the 
Straits.* In this talk the Turkish Ambassador had received the impres- 

* A» stated in the Molotov answer to Schulenburg, thii condition read “Provided tbit 
within the nert tew monthi the security of the Soviet Union in the Straits is assured by 
the conclusion of a mutual security pact between the Soviet Union and Bulgaria, which 
geographically is situated inside the security rone of the Black Sea boundaries of the 
Soviet Union, and by the establishment of a base for land and naval forces of the U.S.S.R. 
within range of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles by means of a long-term lease.” U.S., 
Department of State, S'mSctut Rtlationi, ipjj-ipf 1, page ajl. 

* In ip«6, in connection with the epiestion of automatic five-year renewal of the Mon- 
treu* agreement regarding the Straits, the Soviet government published a selection of 
captured documents of the German Ministry of foreign Affairs concerning German- 
Turlush relations during ihe war, and delivered a note supporting its complaint that the 
Turkish government had not kept Aait naval vessels out of the Straits during the war. 
Saviel AVser (English-language publication of the Soviet government), August t«, t 9 *«. 

f “9- 1 

sion that Molotov was vaguely hinting that if Turkey broke away from 
its alliance with Great Britain the Soviet government might be less 
exigent on all three points. 4 

The answer of the Turkish government (of June 22) had been un- 
afraid. It said that it would not even consider the cession of territory 
or the establishment of Russian military bases in the Straits; and that 
many other governments were entitled to a share in any decision about 
the revision of the Montreux Convention. 

The British Embassy in Washington had informed the State Depart- 
ment that, in accordance with the Anglo-Turkish Treaty of Mutual 
Assistance of 1939, the British government intended to uphold the 
Turks in their refusal, especially since these Soviet stipulations seemed 
far in excess of any intimated by Stalin at Yalta. Would the American 
government join it in notifying Moscow that they believed that other 
nations, not only Russia and Turkey, had a proper interest in all three 
items in the Soviet bill of desire? To such an affirmation the British 
government thought there might be appended a reminder that terri- 
torial settlements ought to be worked out only by orderly processes, and 
not by force, intimidation, or blackmail. Grew asked time to consider. 
In any case, he told the British Ambassador, he thought it advisable 
to defer action until the Conference at San Francisco ended (June 23, 
according to expectations). There would be time enough left before 
the assembly at Potsdam. 

While the American government was waiting, Molotov had talked 
again with the Turkish Ambassador in Moscow. Then he proposed 
rather than pushed. Would not the Turkish government think the 
situation over and see “if we cannot work out something useful on these 
points?”* But, annoyingly, he made several comparisons with Poland. 
After the First World War that country too, he blandly remarked, had 
negotiated a treaty “unjust” to the Soviet Union; but it had recently 
repaired this injustice and laid a basis for lasting friendship between 
the two nations. 

The anxieties of the Turkish government had not been allayed by 
its Ambassador’s account of this second talk. As first received it reported 
Molotov as saying that the Soviet government would also want to 
present certain questions about Turkish relations with the Balkan states. 

■* Memorandum of Conversation, Minister in the British Embassy in Washington 
(Balfour) with Acting Secretary of State Crew, June t*, 1945, and message from U.S. 
Ambassador in Ankara (Wilson) to State Department, June , 8, 1945. Potsdam Papers, 
Documents 6$ 3 and 6S*. 

s Message, Wilson to State Department, June si. Ibid , Document 6SS. 

[ 293 ] 

A fortnight later, however, the Turkish Foreign Office, which had 
been giving out an excited version of this new presumed Soviet design, 
corrected it. The American Ambassador was told that Molotov had not, 
after all, made any such statement, the inference that he had done so 
having been drawn from a garbled cable.® 

Meanwhile the Turkish government had asked the American gov- 
ernment for its “views” regarding Soviet intentions. The State Depart- 
ment decided that the situation did not yet warrant direct interposi- 
tion. The Soviet government, it reasoned, had not threatened to com- 
pel Turkey to yield to its wishes. If a plea for restraint should become 
necessary, the Russians might pay more heed if it were made at the 
coming conference, and in connection with a promise to review the 
Montrenx system of control of the Straits. So the answer sent from 
Washington to Ankara was meant to be moderating. It remarked that 
the Turkish-Soviet exploratory talks seemed to be taking place in a 
friendly atmosphere, without menacing clouds. Why not continue them 
with due respect for each other’s point of view ? 7 

The Turkish government had not known what to make of this advice. 
What was meant by the suggestion that it should show respect for the 
Soviet point of view? It regarded the proposals made by the Soviet 
government as projections of a comprehensive design: to extend its 
control from the Caucasus through Turkey to Alexandretta and the 
Mediterranean, and through Iran and Iraq to the Persian Gulf, and in 
course of doing so, to close the Black Sea Straits to all countries not in 
its orbit. The Acting Foreign Minister, Sumer, expressed the hope that 
when the question was discussed at the coming conference, the Ameri- 
can government would “take [a] position supporting respect for equal 
sovereignty and independence [of] all states.”* 

A similar answer had been made by Grew to the British proposal. 
But the Foreign Office judged the policy of waiting dangerous. Lest 
inaction be construed as indifference, it went ahead on its own to make 
its view known to the Soviet government. The American government 
maintained its reserve in the face of Turkish forecasts of ominous Soviet 
intentions. It noted attentively, but calmly, insinuating articles in the 
Soviet press, such as one printed on the anniversary of the “glorious 

* Message, Wilson to State Department, July 7. Ibid., Document jot. 

7 Message, Grew to Wilson, June aj, Ibid., Document 6S9. 

* Message, Wilson to State Department, June 16 Ibid., Document 69c. On July 7, in 
talking with Grew, the Turkish Ambassador bad gone further, saying that the Turkish 
government felt very strongly that vigorous representations by the American govern- 
ment in advance of possible trouble would hase a powerful effect on the Soviet govern- 
ment. ibid., Document 70a. 


victory” of the Russian over the Turkish navy in 1770, and reports 
in the Turkish press that President Inonu and the Turkish Chief of 
Staff were inspecting Turkish defenses in Thrace. 

American policy at Potsdam, it was conceived by the officials who 
wrote the papers for the guidance of the delegation, ought to be posi- 
tive but circumspect. It should be made clear that the American gov- 
ernment would oppose any threats to the independence and integrity of 
Turkey. But it would be advisable to refrain from coming out, as had 
the British government, in flat support of the Turkish government, lest 
it assume an attitude that might be regarded in Moscow as provocative. 
As set down in one of the Briefing Book papers, the American diplomats 
were to strive to maintain a detached and watchful attitude toward both 
Soviet and British policies, as long as these were in keeping with the 
principles of the United Nations. Thus as friend of all we would be 
able to make an impression if a crisis should come. 

At Potsdam, Churchill did not wait until the subject came up in the 
planned flow of conference business. He exposed his thought about the 
reported Soviet demands on Turkey when he and Stalin dined together 
on the 1 8th. He repeated what he had said to Stalin during their talks 
in Moscow: that he would welcome Russia as a great sea power, and 
that he wished to see Russian ships sailing across the oceans of the 
world. Russia— in the image that leaped to his tongue— was like a giant 
with its nostrils pinched by its narrow exits from the Baltic and the 
Black Sea. But there were the Turks! They were naturally worried over 
the conditions the Soviet government had attached to a new treaty, and 
by reports of large Soviet troop assemblies in Bulgaria near the Turkish 
frontier. Stalin denied that any threatening demands had been made. 
He said that if Turkey had not sought a treaty of alliance, which would 
involve the Soviet government in a guarantee of Turkish frontiers and 
security, the Russians would not have asked for the return of Kars and 
Ardahan. And since the Turks said they could consider neither this 
adjustment of territory nor the type of revision sought for the Montreux 
Convention, the Soviet government could not consider a treaty of al- 

This talk had at least the effect of inducing the Soviet government, 
despite its preference to deal only and directly with the Turkish gov- 
ernment, to state openly what changes it was seeking to bring about in 
the control of the Black Sea Straits. At the Plenary Session on July 22, 
Stalin asked approval of three connected affirmations: first, that the 

[ 295 ] 

Montreux Convention would be terminated as no longer corresponding 
to current conditions; second, that the determination of the governance 
of the Straits — the only sea passage from the Black Sea — should fall 
within the province of Turkey and the Soviet Union as the states chiefly 
concerned; and third, that the new arrangements should provide that 
Turkey and the Soviet Union would both have military bases in the 
Straits in order to defend them against any enemy of the Black Sea 

This led to a short but lively bout between Churchill and the Rus- 
sians, to which Truman listened in silence. Churchill said it was his firm 
opinion that the Montreux Convention could be changed only after 
discussion between all the parties to it (with the exception of Japan). 
All — and not only the Soviet Union and Turkey — should have a part 
in settling the future regime for the Straits. And, he added meaning- 
fully, the matter could be satisfactorily discussed between the Soviet 
Union and Turkey only in a peaceful atmosphere. 

He reviewed again the reasons why the Turkish government was 
much alarmed over the integrity of its country and its power to defend 
Istanbul. Added to the frightening proposals made by the Soviet gov- 
ernment and the continuous attacks in the Soviet press and radio was 
the reported concentration of Bulgarian and Soviet troops in Bulgaria, 
near the Turkish frontier. 

Molotov did not apologize for the Soviet bid for part of Turkey. 
In his view the area that the Soviet Union was asking had been in 
1921 “torn from Soviet Armenia and Soviet Georgia.” But, he added, 
if the Turks decided they did not want to continue discussion of an al- 
liance and territorial adjustment, the Soviet government was ready to 
make an agreement on the Straits alone, between the Black Sea powers. 

Churchill reiterated that while he was ready to welcome an ar- 
rangement for the free movement of Russian ships, naval or merchant, 
into and out of the Black Sea, he felt in no way obligated to accept 
the new Soviet proposals, and he was sure that the Turkish government 
would not. 

Truman brought this contention to an end by saying he was not 
ready to express an opinion and therefore would like to defer the ques- 
tion. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were advising him to do so until the 
subject of the Straits could be considered along with other territorial 
issues at the future peace conference. If he could not do so, however, 

* IhJ-, Document 1569. 

[ 896 ] 

they thought that the American government might agree to a revision 
of the Montreux Convention along the lines of internationalization and 
free use suggested by the State Department; that it ought to favor de- 
militarization of the Straits; and that certainly it ought to oppose any 
plan granting any nation, other than Turkey, bases or other rights for 
direct or indirect military control of the Straits. 10 

The President was allured by the chance to gain acceptance, in con- 
nection with a new agreement about the Straits, for a plan of great 
scope about various other international waterways, especially the Danube 
and Rhine rivers. The State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
were both urging him to put it forward. 11 

He made a sanguine try at the seventh session, on the 23rd, after 
listening to Churchill and Stalin again state their ideas about what 
Russia was asking of Turkey. This time Stalin really made an effort to 
convince his audience that Soviet intentions were peaceable and Soviet 
wishes reasonable. He denied that the Turks had any reason for be- 
lieving that the Russians were trying to scare them into yielding. There 
were, he asserted, fewer Russian troops in Bulgaria than the British had 
in Greece. The Soviet request for the transfer of Kars and Ardahan 
was justified if Turkey wished the protection of a treaty. But whether 
or not an alliance was made between them, the existing regime of the 
Straits was distinctly unfair to the Soviet Union, for the Turkish gov- 
ernment was authorized by the Montreux Convention to prevent the 
movement of Soviet shipping in and out of the Black Sea not only if 
Turkey was at war but if it thought there was a threat of war. That was 
ridiculous. They could imagine, he continued, “what commotion there 
would be in England if a similar regime existed in Gibraltar or in the 
Suez Canal or what a commotion there would be in the United States 
if such a regime existed with regard to the Panama Canal.” Soviet 
shipping ought to be able to pass to and from the Black Sea freely; and 
since Turkey was too weak to assure this in all circumstances the Soviet 
Union would like to be able to defend the Straits by force if necessary, 
just as the American navy defended the Panama Canal and the British 
navy defended the Suez Canal. If the Turks would not agree that the 

W Documoit 

11 The State Department, Eisenhower, and the Joint Chiefs 0 f Staff, for a variety of 
military and economic reasons, had been impressing- on Truman aD d Byrnes the impor- 
tance they attached to having navigation on these two main riser systems restored and 
freed throughout their length from sectional, national controls. 


Soviet Union have naval bases in the Straits, then let them provide 
some other base where the Russian fleet could repair and refuel and, 
in cooperation with its allies, protect the Straits. 

This restatement of Russian desires loosened Truman’s tongue. He 
too favored a change in the regime of the Straits. But the one Stalin 
proposed would merely enable the Soviet Union to share in control 
of this route of passage; it would be better to make it a free waterway 
open to the whole world, guaranteed by the three great allies. Then 
he launched into the sea of history, which is public domain for all. He 
had come to the conclusion after long study that all the wars of the 
last two hundred years had started in the area from the Black Sea to the 
Baltic, and from the eastern frontier of France to the northern frontier 
of Russia. It should be the aim of their work here at Potsdam, and of 
the peace conference to which they looked forward, to end this tragic 
recurrence. One measure that might help to do so would be to assure 
not only the Soviet Union and Great Britain, but all nations, of un- 
hindered passage for their ships and products to all the seas of the 

The President then read what was the boldest paper submitted at 
Potsdam, and what could have been the most transforming: 

“The United States Government proposes that there be free and 
unrestricted navigation of such inland waterways as border on two or 
more states and that the regulation of such navigation be provided by 
international authorities representative of all nations directly interested 
in navigation on the waterways concerned. 

“As an initial step there should be set up as soon as possible interim 
navigation agencies for the Danube and the Rhine. . . . Membership 
in these agencies should include the United States, the United King- 
dom, the USSR, France and the sovereign riparian states recognized 
by these governments .” u 

He was making this proposal, Truman explained, because he did not 
want to engage in another war twenty-five years hence over the Black 
Sea Straits or the Danube. Americans wanted a Europe that was sound 
economically and could support itself— a Europe in which Russia, Eng- 
land, France, and all other countries were happy and with which the 
United States could trade pleasantly and profitably. 

Churchill did not dissect closely either the President’s history or his 
proposal. But his remarks were, in trend, supporting. He recognized 

"Potsdam Papers, Document jjj. A revised proposal, including the Kiel Canal 
and the Black Sea Straits, is in Document 75I. 

[ 298 ] 

that alike in peace and war Soviet merchant vessels and warships ought 
to be ahle to pass through the Black Sea Straits at will. He agreed with 
Truman that this should rest on a guarantee by “all of us.” Would not 
Stalin consider this as an alternative to his quest for a base near Con- 
stantinople? He thought that the Kiel Canal, which controls the con- 
verging entries into the Baltic Sea, should be similarly treated; and he 
attached great importance to free navigation of the Danube and the 

Stalin’s response was dry and curt. He would have to read Truman’s 
proposal carefully before he could discuss it. Then he at once turned to 
get a decision out of hand about the transfer to the Soviet Union of 
Konigsberg and that part of East Prussia north of it. 

That same evening Stalin once again showed that he never let a 
chance go by to pursue a wish that had been denied him. Churchill was 
host at a farewell dinner. The toasts had gone round and were reaching 
a spacious level of goodwill when Stalin, beckoned by Churchill, 
emptied, in duo, a potion (a small-size claret glass) of brandy. As re- 
membered by the doughty Prime Minister of Britain: “We both drained 
our glasses at a stroke and gazed approvingly at one another. After a 
pause Stalin said, ‘If you find it impossible to give us a fortified posi- 
tion in the Marmora could we not have a base at Dedeagatch [on the 
Aegean coast of Greece, very close to the Turkish border]?’ I con- 
tented myself with saying ‘I will always support Russia in her claim 
to her freedom of the seas all the year round.’ ”** For the moment the 
Straits were drained of animosity. 

To the very end of the conference Truman strove for adoption of his 
releasing program for the inland waterways of the world. At the next 
Plenary Session (on the 24th) he asked Stalin if he had done his think- 
ing. Stalin, not easily diverted, remarked that the President’s proposal 
dealt with the Danube and Rhine rather than the Black Sea Straits. 
What about the Soviet proposal concerning the Straits? Truman said 
he would like to have the two questions considered at the same time. 
This was taken by Stalin to be an evasive dodge rather than a genuine 
attempt to separate the future from the past. 

His response was negative. Why not, since their views were so dif- 
ferent, stop talking about the Straits from the Black Sea to the Mediter- 
ranean? But neither Churchill nor Truman was reassured by this sulky 
rejoinder. Churchill tried to impress Stalin with the value of the Ameri- 
can willingness to join the company of nations that would control the 

13 Triumph ani Tragtly, pi£e C69. 


Straits and guarantee freedom of navigation through them. Obviously 
that did not appeal. Molotov belittled it by asking why, if this was such 
a good rule, should it not also be applied to the Suez Canal? 

Truman tried to lead Stalin away from his particular wish for a 
controlling position in or over the Straits. Once more he proposed that 
they arrange for freedom of ingress and egress for all nations on all 
international rivers and straits of Europe, for any and all purposes. And 
once more Stalin said, in a matter-of-fact tone, that since their views 
about the question of the Black Sea Straits were so different, let it be 
postponed so that they could turn to more urgent matters. When the 
time came around, the Soviet government would resume its talks with 
the Turks. The United States and Great Britain could talk with them 
too. He was not sure Turkey would agree to international control. Let 
each of them just continue to see what it could do about the matter. 

That was Stalin’s last and conclusive word. A laggard try to get 
Soviet subordinates to talk over an improved proposal failed. They 
were, as they said, without instructions. And they stayed out of sight 
and out of call on the telephone. 

The British government, having told the Turks of the course of the 
discussion at Potsdam, advised them to keep aim. Their soundest course 
would be to continue to resist Russian attempts to force them into direct 
negotiations, and to maintain that the revision of the Montreux Con- 
vention could be made only after discussion by all interested countries. 
The Prime Minister of Turkey (Sarajoglu) was not won over to the 
American vision — which would mean that the Straits, unguarded by any 
military installations, would be open to the merchant ships and war 
vessels of all nations, under international superintendence. Certainly, 
he said, the Turkish government would not agree to abandon its de- 
fensive structures on the Straits unless the Soviet government firmly 
guaranteed that it would not try to acquire any Turkish territory. A 
report of this opinion quenched the slight remaining hope that the 
question could be settled during the Potsdam conference. 

Truman’s expansive project about international waterways expired. 
Stalin did not even want it to be mentioned in the statement about the 
conference to be issued to the world. Truman had to be content with 
an agreement that the Protocol would contain note of the fact that it 
had been brought to the attention of the conference, and with an under- 
standing that he was free to reveal what he had proposed. In that re- 
gard Stalin remarked crisply “Of course, that is your privilege.” 1 * 

14 Potsdam Papers, Cohen Notes, Twelfth Plenary Session, August 


The record reveals that the Russians were interested only in chang- 
ing the control of the Straits. They were already in a position to control 
navigation on the Danube from Austria to the Black Sea. In any plan 
for control of the Rhine they would have only the lesser say. And the 
talk showed that the British would not yield control of the Suez Canal, 
or the Americans of the Panama Canal. No wonder then that nothing 
came of this discussion. But perhaps the mere fact that the Russians 
were brought openly to disclose and defend the terms on which they 
would sell insurance to Turkey made them more circumspect. They 
were made aware that use of force to impose their will on Turkey, in 
regard to either the border provinces or the Straits, would encounter 
strong resistance not only by Great Britain but also by the United 

[ 30:3 

39« Iran, the Levant, the Italian Colonies, 

Of the other uneasy territorial situations calling for attention, that in 
Iran was best known. It will be recalled that Iran had served as an 
essential military base and transit route into the Soviet Union through- 
out the war, and as a way station to the Far East. It had been occupied 
by Soviet troops in the north and by British troops in the south. Ameri- 
can army service forces were operating the rail and road transport sys- 
tem from the Persian Gulf tD the Soviet frontier. 

In the Anglo-Soviet— Iranian treaty signed in 1942 it had been stipu- 
lated that all foreign forces would be taken out of Iran within six 
months after the end of the war. But its authors had not made it clear 
whether they meant the war in Europe or the war in the Far East. At 
their conference at Teheran, November 1943, Roosevelt, Stalin, and 
Churchill had issued a public declaration confirming this promise and 
their benevolent intentions toward Iran. The Iranians had been much 
pleased, for it met four of their wishes: acknowledgment of their part 
in the war; a promise of economic aid at the end of the war; nourish- 
ment for their self-respect; and a joint pledge to maintain Iran's inde- 
pendence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. 

But an internal conflict had shaped up as the end of the war came in 
sight. Discontented elements (led by the revolutionary Tudeh party) 
assailed the Persian landowning groups who dominated the central gov- 
ernment and the village administrations. Each side used violence and 
terrorism against the other. In the northern provinces, where the Rus- 
sian troops were stationed, authority in the chief towns was taken over 
by the revolutionary partisans.’ 

Two weeks after the German surrender, the Iranian government had 
decided to ask the British and Soviet governments when they were 
going to withdraw their troops. In the opinion of the Shah, they were 
obligated by the terms of the 1942 treaty to have them out, at the very 
latest, by six months after the end of the war between the allied powers 
and Germany and her associates. This interpretation of the treaty was 

The Shah had not at this time shown any desire to see the American 

1 An excellent account of tlie situation in 1945, and of tlie intricacies of Internal poli- 
ties and the activities of the Tudeh party, is to be found io Kirk, The Middle Bait and the 
War, page* 56 ff. 


troops leave also. But all branches of the American government wanted 
to get American forces (all service, not combat troops) out of Iran as 
soon as practicable. It was being gradually done. The War Department 
wished to retain there certain small contingents, about 4,500 in all, 
at least until Japan was defeated. Some were needed to take care of 
American installations in Iran until they could be properly liquidated. 
Others were wanted for work at the Air Transport Command base at 
Abadan, which was a staging point for combat aircraft going on to 
China and for other American air traffic in support of the American 
forces in the Burma-India-China theaters. 

The British officials had been in another sort of dilemma. They 
thought it prudent to keep British military units in southwestern Iran 
to protect the oil fields and the refinery at Abadan. But they knew that 
Unless all British (and American) troops were taken out of Iran, the 
Soviet forces would not leave. And they feared that if Soviet troops 
stayed much longer in the north, that area might be brought under per- 
manent Communist control, or that the Soviet power to intervene would 
be used to force the induction into office in Iran of a government 
obedient to Moscow. 

The Soviet government had not yet made its attitude clearly known. 
It might seek to cancel or evade the obligation to call back its troops. 
Or conceivably it might try to gain popularity in Iran by calling for 
immediate and complete withdrawal of all foreign forces. 

In the days before the Potsdam conference convened the Shah had 
openly discussed his fear of Russian intentions with the American Am- 
bassador. He said that he was afraid to install a vigorous Prime Minister 
because the Soviet government would accuse him of Fascism; but that 
unless he did so, administration in Iran would become even less effec- 
tive, the economy could not be straightened out, and political disorder 
would spread — with Soviet-supported left-wing groups gaining in in- 
fluence. 2 The American as well as the British Ambassadors were of the 
opinion that the Soviet government was intent on having a Cabinet fa- 
vorable to it in office before withdrawing the Red Army and before 
Iranian elections were held.* 

2 Potsdam Papers, Document, ,3,7 and t j 19. 

* In an American Briefing Book paper a propram had been outlined for which British 
and Soviet assent might be secured at Potsdam. TTiis looked toward an agreement between 
the there war allies who had troops in Iran to refrain from any and all intervention in 
Iranian internal affairs i to work together to enable the Iranian government to assume 
full responsibility and functions for the governing of the country, and evolve into a 
legitimate and strong government representative of the people and responsive to their 
needs; to withdraw quickly all armed forces in Iran whose presence was not needed to 


At Potsdam the British took the initiative, because of their closer and 
longer connection with Iran. Eden (on the a 1st) proposed that British 
and Soviet forces be withdrawn at once from Teheran, the capital, and 
then in several gradual stages from all the rest of Iran . 4 When the 
Heads of Government got around to discussing this, Stalin demurred. • 
He was willing to agree to the prompt evacuation of Teheran. But his 
inclination was to let the troops remain elsewhere in Iran for a W'hile 
longer — perhaps until six months after the end of the war against 
Japan. Let us take more time to consider our further course, he sug- 
gested. Churchill, not entirely averse, because of a wish to retain watch 
over oilfields and refineries, assented to postponement of the schedule 
of withdrawal. It was agreed that when the Foreign Ministers met 
in September, they would talk the matter over again. Truman said 
abruptly that he expected to have all American troops out in sixty days, 
since they were needed in the Far East. Whereat Stalin remarked that 
the United States was certainly entitled to guard its supplies, and then 
he added, “So as to rid the United States of any worries we promise 
you that no action will be taken by us against Iran.”* Truman thanked 

While not conclusive, the agreement to begin the evacuation from 
Teheran at once, coupled with Stalin’s assurance, was regarded in Wash- 
ington as a step forward. Besides, the American government was not 
obliged to hurry out the troops guarding supplies or the personnel 
operating the air transport service and its facilities. The Iranian govern- 
ment, in fact, was willing to have these remain and carry on their ac- 

The announcement of the accord was welcomed in Teheran. But 
among the Iranian officials and their circle it did not wholly allay the 
fears of Soviet intentions or the resentment of British presence in the 
south. Iran remained a focus of anxiety. 

The situation in the Levantine states had also continued to trouble. 
The dual quarrels in which the French government was engaged with 
the local governments and the British government were still drag- 
ging on. 

carry on the war in the Far East — or, if the Soviet government » ou!d not consent to take 
its troops out while any British and American forces stayed, even in working services for 
the Pacific war, it was proposed that the Russians and British be asked to agree to a 
progressive and proportionate reduction of their forces and of the areas occupied by them. 

* /Mi, Document 1330. 

* IbU Minutes, Plenary Session, July *j. 

t 3°+] 


The situation had remained on the verge of open conflict between 
native extremists and the French authorities. The British military had 
taken control of more and more areas, and the French were discredited. 
Late in June our minister in Lebanon and Syria (George Wadsworth) 
had informed the State Department that the Syrian and Lebanese troops 
under French officers were deserting rapidly. The Syrian and Lebanese 
governments were saying that native troops must be transferred to their 
command, and that all French troops must be taken out of their coun- 
tries before a discussion of a political settlement began. Actually there 
were only about two thousand French troops in Syria at this time, 
mostly confined to barracks. As epitomized by the President of the 
Syrian Legislative Chamber in a talk at the Aleppo Mosque, “we have 
one present aim, to force France to quit our country.” 

The French government had tried to allay this ill feeling, which was 
sweeping out French influence and interests. It had announced the 
gradual transfer of command of the native troops from French officers 
to the local governments. It had let it be known that it would agree 
to withdraw the French troops from Syria and Lebanon at the same 
time as British troops might be taken out. It had given up plans to seek 
a naval base in either country. But these concessions had come too late 
to end the antagonism. 

The French and British governments had teetered on the edge of 
talks. The French authorities would not go to London for the purpose. 
The British were reluctant to go to Paris, as they were at this time 
encouraging the French and Syrians to settle their quarrel directly. 
The French government was again trying to do so, having, it would 
seem, had second thoughts about the value of a five-power conference 
on the whole Middle East.® 

American official judgment about the situation had coagulated against 
France. The State Department papers in the Briefing Book for Potsdam 
reveal an intent to make it dear to the British, and through them to the 
French, that we would oppose any settlement that infringed on the 
independence or sovereignty of Syria or Lebanon, or discriminated 
against the United States. An effort was to be made to induce the French 
and British to begin at once to withdraw their troops, concurrently and 

But at Potsdam neither the President nor the Secretary of State went 
into the situation with the British on his own initiative. They were 
dragged into it by Stalin. He proposed that Churchill and Truman 

Document! 6jfi, «**, and 645. 

1305 3 

join him in an expression of favor for a conference with the French 
government about the situation in these countries, if it were willing. This 
led Churchill at the plenary session on the 23rd into a long harangue. 
He portrayed British intervention there as a disagreeable but necessary 
duty. He had told de Gaulle that British troops would be taken out 
of these countries as soon as he made an acceptable treaty with them. 
If they were withdrawn before then, fighting between the small French 
contingents and the natives would start again: French civilians might 
well be murdered and French troops routed, and turbulence and war- 
fare would spread throughout the Middle East. Lines of communica- 
tion through the Suez Canal, in use in the war against Japan, would be 
endangered. Great Britain had “no wish to remain there one day longer 
than necessary,” and would be “delighted to withdraw” from what was 
“a thankless task assumed in the interest of the allies.” It had borne 
the whole burden and so would not welcome a review of the sort pro- 
posed. But of course, if the United States wanted to take their place 
that would be “a different matter.” 

“No thanks,” Truman responded. Then, taking heed of a passage in 
the Prime Minister’s statement — that de Gaulle might reach a settle- 
ment which, while guaranteeing the independence of Syria and Lebanon, 
would “preserve for the French some recognition of their cultural and 
commercial interests” — Truman said he did not think France deserved 
a special position, in view of its behavior. All should have equal rights. 
Churchill explained that the British government, at a time of weakness, 
had promised France that it might have a preferred position — if Syria 
and Lebanon would accord it. After all, French activities and efforts 
went back to the Crusades. They even had a song that went “Nous 
partons pour la Syrie.” But after Truman said he was sure the Syrians 
would not grant the French special rights, Churchill bowed out. Great 
Britain, he said, could not obligate others nor had it made strenuous 
efforts to enable the French to retain such rights. But “If they could 
get them the British would not object and would smile benignly on their 

Stalin seemed to lose interest in the subject. After remarking that he 
thought the Syrians would be reluctant to show special regard for the 
French, he said that he withdrew the Soviet proposal. Both Churchill 
and Truman were pleased, for they feared Soviet entry into a fracas 
that they hoped was nearing an end. 

The relief was the more real because the Soviet government was 
showing a lively interest in the disposition of the Italian colonies on 

[ 306 ] 

the Mediterranean shore. Both Stalin and Molotov were displaying a 
wish for Soviet trusteeship over one of them — probably Libya. If this 
were granted, the Russians for the first time would have gained a 
strategic position south of Turkey and the Persian Gulf. 

At the first plenary session Stalin referred to the earlier notice the 
Soviet government had given of its wish to discuss the question of al- 
location of trusteeships. 7 What he meant, he explained in answer to 
Churchill’s questions, was a trusteeship for “some territories of the 
defeated States.” He had in hand a circumambient written proposal: 
that the conference authorize the Council of Foreign Ministers to con- 
sider measures to bring into effect the trusteeship system provided in 
the United Nations Charter. In doing so they were to be “guided by 
the necessity of solution in the nearest future of the problem relating 
to the terms of trusteeship on the former colonial possessions of Italy 
in Africa and in the Mediterranean, having in view herewith the pos- 
sibility of establishing the trusteeship system exercised by individual 
states or by the USSR, USA and Great Britain jointly.” 8 

At the meeting of the Heads of Government on the 22nd Molotov 
said that he recognized it would not be possible to pursue this subject 
of trusteeships in detail during the conference. But some progress Could 
be made. They could start by discussing what was going to be done 
about the Italian colonies. As reported in the Minutes, he had read in 
the foreign press “that Italy had lost its colonies once and for all. The 
question was who had received them and where had this matter been 
derided.” 8 

7 This was a reference to a series of documents: a letter Gromyko hid sent to Stassen 
»t San Francisco on June yj Stettinius’ answer to Novikov, in which he raid that the 
American government was ready to support the Soviet wish to obtain a trusteeship) a 
letter from Gromyko to Stettinius on June 10, saying that the Soviet government would 
like to define the matter more dearly while the representatives of all at San Francisco 
were engaged in formulating the trusteeship provisions of the Chatter) Stettinius’ answer 
of June jo, raying it had been agreed that there was not to be any discussion at San Fran- 
cisco of the disposition of particular areas, but he would be glad to hear Soviet views on 
his return to Washington. Within a few days, however, he was out of office. Gromyko at 
Potsdam gave Byrnes copies of this previous correspondence. Potsdam Papers, Document 

* Ibid., Document 7 jj, submitted at meeting ol Foreign Ministers, July to. 

* What Molotov particularly had in mind, as he made clear at one of his meetings 
with Byrnes and Eden the nest day, was, first, press reports of the affirmative answer 
Sdfir had given on October a, 194a, ro tile question whether he woufd 'itssure rhe ffouse 
Lot Commons] that His Majesty’s Government is opposed to the return of the colonies 
to Italy, and that their declaration that the Italian Empire in Africa is irrevocably lost 
will be strictly adhered to”; and second, Eden’s statement in the House of Commons on 
January tj, 1945, that "The future of Italy’s prewar possessions in Libya and Tripoli 
must await consideration by the United Nations at the conclusion of peace,” together with 
his restatement of the British position in answer to questions: "It is that the Italian Gov- 
ernment have no right to the return of any one of their colonic*. HTtat ir done about the 
colonies is a matter, in some part, for discussion in the future.” 


Churchill was provoked to an indignant reply. He said that the Brit- 
ish army had conquered these colonies and, except in Tunis, had con- 
quered them alone} and at a time when the island homeland was under 
heavy attack. Moreover, despite Britain’s heavy losses it had made no 
territorial claims— no Konigsberg, no Baltic States, “nothing.” This was 
the record of rectitude with which the British government approached 
the question of the Italian colonies. Eden had said in the House of 
Commons that he regarded Italy as having lost these colonies. He had 
meant that Italy had lost its claim to them as a matter of right. This 
did not, however, preclude the peace conference from restoring some 
to her . 10 He did not say that he favored such a disposition. The Council 
of Foreign Ministers and the peace conference were free to discuss it, 
when dealing with peace for Italy. At present the British held these 
colonies. Who wanted them? If there were claimants “they should put 
forward their claims.” 

The President hastened to say that the United States did not want 
them, or a trusteeship over any of them. Well then, Churchill asked, 
did Stalin wish to put forward a claim to one of these Italian colonies? 
Stalin did not answer the question directly. What he wanted to learn, 
he said, was whether this conference would consider Italy’s colonies; 
if it was to lose them, they could decide to what states they would be 
transferred in trusteeship; if it was premature to deal with the matter, 
they could wait. Experience in the war, he explained, had shown that 
Soviet vessels that were damaged or seeking to escape attack did not 
have any refuge near the Dardanelles Straits; for that reason he 
thought the Russians wish for a base on the African shore was deserving. 
Churchill had thereupon somberly commented, as recorded in the Min- 
utes, that “he had not considered the possibility of the Soviet Union 
desiring to acquire a large tract of the African shore. If that were the 
case it would have to be considered in relation to many other problems.” 

The Foreign Ministers resumed the discussion the next day. Then, 

The identification of the statements Molotov had in mind is contained in * memo writ- 
ten by George V. Allen, Deputy Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African 
Affaire in the State Department. In this memo, however, the discustion at which Molotov 
recalled these statements to Eden is dated July at. The official American minutes of the 
aand do not contain any reference to a discussion of Italian colonies. It was talked about 
by the Foreign Ministers on July ajrd. 

10 The Foreign Office bad been preparing a preliminary treaty of peace with Italy. 
Field Marshal Alexander confided to our Ambassador in Rome, Alexander Kirk, that 
while in London he had looked it over, and thought it far too severe His view was that 
Tripoli^ should be returned to July without conditions, and Eritrea and Italian Somali- 
land with conditions. Potsdam Papers, Document 47'- Kirk’s report was retransmitted 
m Rentes at Potsdam. ' 


after Byrnes emphasized that the question of the disposition of the 
Italian colonies could not be settled before the peace conference, it was 
agreed to make a start at the first meeting of the Council of Foreign 
Ministers in September, in connection with the peace treaty for Italy. 
This was affirmed in the Protocol. 

The Soviet solicitation of a colony or base on the African shore of 
the Mediterranean (probably in Libya), under guise of a trusteeship, 
was taken by Byrnes to be a dear signal of a design to obtain a strategic 
position from which the Soviet Union could threaten the West. It could 
not be related to Soviet security, as the territorial claims in areas adjacent 
to former Soviet frontiers might be. The Secretary of State also got the 
impression that this Soviet foray into a region where the British had 
shown their valor, and so dose to the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, 
shook up Churchill more than any other episode at the conference. 

Nor was this the only place along the Mediterranean shore into 
which the Soviet government tried to pry its way. It was seeking ad- 
mission into the group that would govern the city and zone of Tangier, 
which, located on the Straits of Gibraltar, were of great strategic im- 

Up to June 1940 these had been administered as an international 
zone by a council selected by the governments that were parties to the 
ruling statute of 1923 (Spain, France, Portugal, Great Britain, Holland, 
Belgium, Italy, and Sweden). At that time— when France was falling 
and it seemed as though German victory was near — the Spanish gov- 
ernment had sent its troops into the area. It had averred that it was 
doing so to preserve the neutrality of the zone during the war. The 
other participants in the administration, most of them either occupied 
by the Germans or in dire danger, had acquiesced. 

After the German defeat, the Spanish government had let it be 
known that it was willing to relinquish control. Although the United 
States had not hitherto shared in the administration of the zone, the 
British and French governments consulted it about arrangements for 
transfer of authority. The three agreed that as an interim or temporary 
measure the zone should be placed under a joint civilian administra- 
tion in which Great Britain, France, Spain, and the United States should 
have equal part. But on two other points they got into a snarl. 

The American and British governments had contemplated that later 
on an international conference would be convoked to work out a new 
statute to take the place of the obsolete one. But the French govern- 


ment wanted merely to return to the former regime, in which France 
had the greatest, almost dominant, influence. 

Then the American government had been of the opinion that if the 
Soviet government expressed a wish to take part in these preliminary 
talks, this should be granted. The British and French governments 
were willing to inform the Soviet government of what was in mind, 
but they thought it unwise to include it in the talks. And the Spanish 
government served notice that it would ignore any consultations if 
Soviet officials were included in them. The American government let 
the others draft and send the communication. This described the na- 
ture of the talks in prospect, and promised to keep the Soviet govern- 
ment informed of the results. 

On July a, the day before the consultation of experts was to begin 
in Paris, the Soviet Ambassador in Washington (Gromyko) had in- 
formed the State Department that his government, because of its inter- 
est in Tangier, was surprised that it had not been invited to take part 
in these talks. He asked that they be deferred until the Soviet govern- 
ment had a chance to exchange opinions and to instruct the Soviet 
officials selected to be present. Similar requests were made of the Brit- 
ish and French governments. Grew did his best to make the Soviet 
government accept the explanation that the reason the United States 
had been invited, and the Soviet Union had not been, was that the Soviet 
government had not previously shown any interest whatever in Tangier. 
He said that the American government would welcome Soviet pres- 
ence, but was itself in a sense only a guest at the meeting. The French 
and British authorities would be told, he promised, that we favored 
the Soviet wish, but the decision was up to them. They had been so 

The French Foreign Office had commented in effect: “We told 
you so j the trouble could have been avoided if it had been decided 
merely to return to the situation as it was in 1 939.” This was still, they 
maintained, the best course to take. The British Foreign Office was also 
upset by the Russian request, but it was loath to incur blame for op- 
poring it. Moreover, it did not want to have the United States left out 
of the temporary administration of the zone, as it would be under the 
French proposal. 

At this juncture the Spanish government had strongly denounced 
the Soviet request, saying that while it would be glad to talk with the 
Western powers about the withdrawal of Spanish forces and the restora- 
tion of an international system, it would not discuss these matters with 


any other powers. The American Ambassador in Madrid (Norman 
Armour) advised the State Department not to disregard this declara- 
tion. II it did, he forecast that the Spanish government would refuse 
to take its forces out of Tangier, since it was convinced that the Russians 
would take advantage of being there to embarrass and weaken the 
Franco regime. But the State Department refused to be governed by 
Franco’s fears or threats. It told the Ambassador that it thought the 
Soviet interest in the zone legitimate and deserving of recognition. 
Nevertheless it was aware that the course it might be compelled to 
pursue could hurt American relations with Spain and spoil the chance 
of using that country as a source of supply and a transport base. 

These differences of purpose and opinion, and others that I will not 
trace out here, had been whirling around at the eve of the Potsdam 
conference. The opinion of the British government prevailed: that the 
talks about the future of Tangier should be postponed until Soviet ideas 
and intentions could be probed at Potsdam. Another reason given for 
waiting until then was that the Soviet rulers might be persuaded to 
grant the western allies, in return for admission into the talks about 
Tangier, a more genuine part in the direction of the affairs of the 
countries in eastern Europe. 

At Potsdam, Stalin, whose initiative about Spain was being rebuffed, 
as has already been recounted, soon made it clear that the Soviet gov- 
ernment thought itself entitled to a share second to none jn determining 
what was to be done about Tangier. He wanted the conference to go 
on record as resolving that the Spanish occupation of the zone of 
Tangier should be ended j that the zone should again be put under 
international control; that representatives of the United States, Great 
Britain, the Soviet Union, and France should work out an appropriate 
new status for the zone; and that Spain should be invited to adhere to 
this new status after a democratic regime was established in that 
country. 11 

Eden took the lead in reining in these proposals, at the meeting of 
the Foreign Ministers on the 23rd. He too thought that the interna- 
tional administration for Tangier should be restored. He too thought 
talks should soon start to consider how best to bring this about; and 
he would be glad to have representatives of the Soviet government take 
part jn them. But he contended that they ought not discuss at Potsdam 
what should be done, since France, which had so great an interest in the 
question, was not present; and that before any final derisions were 

11 Potsdam Papers, Document 1 j jS. 

[ 3 * 1 ] 

taken, all governments that were parties to the Act of Algeciras (1906) 
—-to which the governments of the United States and Imperial Russia 
had both been signatories— should be brought into conference. Byrnes 

Molotov, for once, did not try to beat down this opposition. Probably 
he had won all that he had hoped to win — a chance for the Soviet 
Union to share in the determination and, as must have seemed likely 
to him then, the control of the zone. It was agreed that the four should 
meet soon to discuss “the question of Tangier.” It was thought prudent 
by all concerned that this accord not be revealed in the joint public re- 
lease to be issued at the end of the conference. But it was inscribed in 
the Protocol. 


40. France 

Before leaving this tale of the conference at Potsdam we ought to re- 
vert to the fact that France was not there. De Gaulle’s petition had been 
denied. He had called the refusal unfair to France, and reserved the 
right to treat as he saw fit any decisions that might be made. It has 
been seen how some issues were settled in accord with known French 
wishes ; how others were settled without reference to them; and how 
still others, of which the most important was the future status of the 
Ruhr, the Rhineland, and Tangier, were postponed because it was 
judged that they either could not be or ought not be settled without 
consultation with the French government. 

If de Gaulle had been at Potsdam the trudge toward the word- 
wrapped accords reached there would have been even more wearing 
than it was. There is little or no reason for thinking that they would 
have lasted longer. What the interplay of personal relations between 
de Gaulle and the other three would have been bests the imagination. 
All that can be said is that since the French government was not 
obligated by the Potsdam accords, it felt freer to combat their applica- 
tion in an effort to bend them to its purposes. 

The first response of the French people to the communique that was 
issued about the doings of the conference was not unfavorable. They 
seemed pleased because their government had been invited to join in the 
Council of Foreign Ministers, taking this as evidence that France's 
rightful place of equality among the great nations was being recog- 
nized. But there were various criticisms and some speculations about 
“unpublished” decisions. 

The French government was advised in advance (July 31, August 1 
and 2) of the main decisions about European affairs. On August 7, 
Bidault, the French Foreign Minister, summoned the American, Brit- 
ish, and Soviet Ambassadors and handed them identical notes com- 
menting on these decisions. The French government, he said, accepted 
with pleasure the invitation to participate in the work of the Council of 
Foreign Ministers and the Reparation Commission (which was about 
to disband). It found no fault with the arrangements about Poland and 
Italy. But it had reservations about several elements of the program 
for Germany. Of these the most significant bore on the statement of 
political principles. As expressed in the official French notes (Au- 
gust 7): 

“Some of the measures advocated seem to assume that a given po- 


litical evolution of Germany will occur; while it is impossible to fore- 
see at the present time whether such an evolution corresponds^ to the 
interests of European peace and to the wishes of the populations in- 

“In this regard the French government has particularly in mind the 
reconstruction of political parties for the whole of Germany, and the 
creation of central administrative departments which would be directed 
by secretaries of state whose jurisdiction would cover, it seems, the 
whole of the German territory, which is not yet defined. 

“For its part the French government believes that it would be 
preferable before defining such conditions to take into account the ex- 
periences which the four occupying powers will not fail to gather dur- 
ing the initial phase of control .” 1 

About two weeks later Bidault reviewed the whole field more fully, 
in a personal talk. Byrnes explained why the type of accord reached 
on reparations was the only one possible, and why the provision regard- 
ing the division of receipts among the various claimants was as good as 
could have been negotiated. Bidault’s grumbling complaints could have 
been foretold. The fate that had excluded France from arguing about 
her share was cruel and harmful to good relations; and prospective re- 
ceipts were far less than desired. France wanted restitution of what Had 
been taken by the Germans— and coal, and machinery, and German 
labor services. The stipulation that Germany would have to pay for 
its imports out of exports would be hard on France, since it would com- 
pel France to pay in dollars for the German coal it needed. Byrnes 
abstained from retorting, except to point out that while the American 
government was not asking for any reparations, the American people 
were unwilling to provide the means to enable Germany to pay repara- 
tions to others. 

Then Bidault dissected the security aspect of the accords. He noted 
that German territory had been whittled down in the east but not in 
the west. France would find it hard to bear with the prospect that 
while German cities in the east, like Konigsberg, Breslau, Frankfurt-on- 
the-Oder, and Ktistrin, would pass to Russian control, Saarbrttcken in 
the west was still to be regarded as part of Germany. He did not think 
Germany would become a threatening military power for a long time. 
But he feared that a unified Germany would fall under Soviet influence. 
For these reasons, and for protection against a possible resurgence of 
Germany such as took place after the last war, the French government 
1 Potsdam P»per>, Document 141 1. 



“must insist that a section of territory be cut off in West Germany simi- 
lar to that in East Germany.” 2 The French government, like the Soviet 
government, wanted an international system established in the Ruhr 
Basin. About the left bank of the Rhine, no definite decision was sought 
at the moment. But the going arrangement, that of French occupation, 
should be continued, without interference. France could not agree to 
having that area revert to Prussia. 

Byrnes tried to be reassuring. It was not contemplated, he explained 
several times over, to allow or create a central German government, 
but merely some essential central offices for administration. The United 
States would not repeat the mistake of again granting Germany loans 
for reconstruction. If we were fools enough to do so, he said, we should 
deserve the fate that would inevitably overtake us. The people of the 
United States were determined to do everything to prevent Germany 
from rearming. He did not see how amputation of German territory 
in the west could be more effective than the force of the whole world, 
organized in the United Nations.* 

The talk foreshadowed the period of strife between the French and 
other members of the Control Council which hindered the attempt to 
develop a system of controls and initiatives for the whole of Germany, 
and the effectuation of common policies. Agitated and obstructive in its 
effort to have its way, the French government was going to be a very 
trying companion in the contest with the Soviet Union which was turn- 
ing into a cold war. 

* Potsdam Papers, Document 1414, Conversation, Byroes-Bidault, August ij . 

5 Ibid. 


41. Potsdam: Impressions and Epilogue 

The three Heads of Government did not draw together at Potsdam in 
the same warm, personal association in a common cause as at the two 
wartime meetings at Teheran and Yalta. Then the chief figures were 
under a bond of mutual military dependence to get along with one 
another. At Potsdam they were not. Previously they could submerge 
or postpone issues that might estrange them. At Potsdam they could 

The impulse to strive together to transform the nature and relations 
of nations had waned. National diplomacy was relapsing into old habits 
of thought and reckoning, which so short a time ago had been judged 
outworn and inadequate. Conflicts of desire and opinion were emerging. 
In the West fear of broken Germany was overcast by fear of Soviet 
Communist domination of Europe. In the Soviet Union brief trust 
in the true good will of the West was giving way to the belief that the 
West was bent on depriving the Soviet Union of the benefits of its 
victory. As before, a friend who opposed Soviet aims was regarded as 
an enemy. 

All these and other turns of time debarred easy and close contact 
between the three individuals and their advisers. They could have been 
in some measure transcended. But they could not have been wholly 
cleared away by wit, goodness, or firmness, or by skillful deceit. As the 
sessions went on, and each spoke his lines, the negotiators seemed to 
be learning about one another rather than from one another. And yet 
the outcome, the end of the play, was not derided only by the surge 
of national wills and ways. It was affected in some measure by the 
aptitudes and natures of the three men, by the way they thought and 
acted and treated each other. 

Stalin, as twice before, had his wish about the locale of the confer- 
ence. He would not venture outside the realm controlled by Soviet 
forces, so the other two, since they were more earnest in their wish to 
preserve wartime unity, went toward him. 

Though the Soviet ruler had suffered a slight heart attack before 
having for Potsdam, and arrived a day late, no sign of reduced! will or 
vigor of mind was discernible during the sessions, nor any sign of ab- 
normal outlook. Seemingly never in a hurry, he maintained a steady 
hold on whatever subject was under discussion, appearing to know wb3t 


he wanted and how to go after it. His presentations were usually 
phrased in terms of Western political and social ideals, never in those 
of Marxist ideology. His utterances were seldom illumined by visions 
of a new order of international society in the future. Humorless, and 
living within himself, he was a most able, though short-sighted, pro- 
ponent of the traditional Russian instinct to expand and absorb. 

At the conference table Stalin ordinarily spoke in low tones to Pavlov, 
the Russian interpreter, who was sitting at his side, while Truman and 
Churchill, since they wanted to be heard by all their American and 
British associates around the table, raised their voices. 

Truman, perhaps covering over an inner lack of assurance, at times 
spoke abruptly or assertively. Having little knowledge of some of the 
issues he was suddenly called on to face, he tried to substitute a pre- 
sumed deep insight into the lessons of history. He was irked by the 
need to go far afield to meet Churchill and Stalin, rather than elated 
by the prospect For him it was an errand that had to be run, not a 
mission he was eager to pursue. To some of his staff he seemed un- 
willing to hear them out. Nor was his memory of what he had been told 
always exact. Perceiving that Stalin and Molotov were wont to argue 
a matter over and over again as a way of wearing down resistance, he 
disliked the ordeal j and believing that Churchill often talked overly 
long, either as a sort of purge or for the record, he tended to regard 
these discourses as an assault on his patience. 

His was the image of a man of brisk decision, a person who, having 
once heard the pertinent facts, made up his mind swiftly and firmly — 
some observers thought impetuously. His sense that the three of them, 
the chief executives of their nations, could hurry through their business 
if they would, was given expression in his first talk with Churchill and 
Stalin about the matters before them. To quote from his own subsequent 
account: “I told Stalin and Churchill that we should discuss the next 
day some of those points on which we could come to a conclusion. 
Churchill replied that the secretaries should give us three or four points 
—enough to keep us busy. I said I did not want just to discuss. I wanted 
to deride. Churchill asked if I wanted something in the bag each day. 
He was as right as he could be. I was there to get something accom- 
plished, and if we could not do that, I meant to go back home.” 1 

Ten days later (on July 28) he was writing to his mother and sister 
Mary: “Well, here another week has gone, and I’m still in this God- 
forsaken country awaiting the return of a new British Prime Minister. 

* Year of Dtdsiont, pip 3*9- 

1 3*71 

I Had hoped we’d be finished by now, but there are some loose ends to 
clean up, and we must meet again to do it.” 2 

Churchill was depressed at the pull of the Soviet Union on Europe, 
and at the refusal of the American government to adopt his ideas of 
political and military strategy. Although he thought it likely that he 
would win the elections, he was not sure. He probably detected that 
many people in his country, now that the combat was over, were giving 
way to exhaustion and turning toward purposes and promises sponsored 
by the Labour Party rather than by himself. Those who were present 
remember the boyish look on the face of the Prime Minister as, at 
the dinner he gave just before returning to London, he spoke somewhat 
as follows. “I must apologize for having to leave here and interrupt 
the sessions of the conference. But, as you know, I am going back to 
England to take part in what is a very important element in English 
democratic processes — the counting of the ballot. We will be back here 
Monday,”— at which point he paused and directed his gaze down at 
Attlee who was sitting by him— then resumed, “in such order as the 
British people may determine.” Stalin looked at Attlee who was hunched 
down in his chair and remarked, “Mr. Attlee does not seem very eager.” 

Truman has told us that he had “an instant liking” for Churchill. 
But some of his advisers had imparted to him mistrust of the Prime 
Minister’s motives and judgment, and had put him on guard against his 
winning ways. Davies’ presence at Truman’s side at the conference 
sessions is a due to his readiness to regard Churchill’s views as formed 
by concern over British interests rather than by devotion to progress 
and harmony, and to find them imperial if not imperious. He was, 
again according to some of his staff, afraid of being misled by the re- 
nowned veteran. 

The President had accepted the opinion of those who tutored him in 
the record that Stalin had broken or was breaking agreements reached 
with Roosevelt. Still, at Potsdam, Truman was impressed by the man. 
He was pleased by traits that eased the work of the conference, by 
Stalin’s directness, by the way in which he stuck to the main point, by 
his signs of wanting to do business quickly, and even by his on and off 
geniality. Though aware how willful the Soviet dictator was and how 
relentless a bargainer, he did not always see through the dissembling 
mind and words. Thus Truman retained the hope that acceptable accords 
could be reached if he made up his mind as to what the United States 
Could or could not approve and firmly stood by it. 

’ Ibii., page 39 *. 

[ 3*8 3 


Stalin was courteous to the President. As seldom as possible did he 
enter into direct argument with him. As often as possible he took ad- 
vantage of Truman's impatient wish to get business over and done 
with. Toward Churchill he was more mettlesome. Perhaps he was 
confident that in crucial' matters the British government, in the end, 
would abide— would feel that it had to abide— by the American decision. 
He did not always refrain from scoffing at the Prime Minister’s views 
or words. Churchill, the great and courageous leader, he had admired; 
Churchill, the head of a country and empire left weakened by the war, 
he felt free to challenge roughly. 

Churchill entered into an amiable relationship with Truman and 
showed a marked disposition to agree with him as far as he could. He 
was pleased by Truman’s vigor and declarativeness. But it is unlikely 
that he was impressed by the President’s foresight or adeptness in deal- 
ing with Stalin. Toward Stalin, the Prime Minister’s address and re- 
sponse were in continual flux. Now he was challenging, soon after con- 
ciliatory; now stubborn in maintaining his views, soon after yielding. 
Perhaps he was made unsure because of a sense that Truman was as 
likely to let him down as hold him up. 

There was no burbling overflow of talk at luncheons and dinners, in 
the intervals between appointed meetings, as there had been at Teheran 
and Yalta.* Even on such social occasions the Heads of Government, 
and the groups around them, were not at ease or open with one another. 
Was this wholly due to the greater strain of business? May it have 
been in part because Roosevelt, with his air of geniality, was not there? 
Or because Stalin and Churchill were older and more tired? Or because 
the Martini (Roosevelt), the Vodka (Stalin), and the Whiskey (Church- 
ill) were less in evidence as promoters of mutual friendship? 

Music was called on to make the air around the table festive — maybe 
also as an antidote to boredom or as protection against the perils of 
intimate talk. During and after every dinner at which the Heads of 
State entertained one another, music rose above the toasts — not soft 
music; heard from a little way off, but loud muse, piano, band, or 
choral. Truman set the example at the first evening occasion. For this 
he hunted up a young American pianist in uniform, Eugene List. The 

8 This seems to be borne out by tbe fact that there are no American minuter of the 
tilk on any social Occasions, and in the narrative! of the course of the conference that I 
haw so far read— with the exception of Churchill’! record of bis conversation with 
Stalin on the night of the ilth — there is no reference to consequential talk on these oc- 

r 3>9 3 

President wanted him to play his favorite Chopin waltz. To get a score, 
all Europe had to be scoured. It was found in a collection flown in from 
Paris. Since the pianist did not have time to learn the piece by heart, the 
President turned the pages as he played. Stalin, not to be outdone, 
brought notable concert artists from Moscow for his formal dinner. 
Churchill, who was bored by music, chose a remarkably spirited Royal 
Air Force band when he was host. 

Whether for any or all of the reasons on which I have touched, or 
only because it was judged the way to make progress, the Heads of 
Government turned over more of the ground work to the Foreign 
Ministers than they had at Teheran and Yalta. They tried to hold 
themselves as adjusters of differences rather than initiators. They 
usually waited for the Foreign Ministers to wony over a subject and 
report to them before entering into a systematic discussion of it. Truman 
was guided by Byrnes, who assiduously briefed him, more than Roo- 
sevelt had been by anyone around him. And Stalin used Molotov more 
actively and gave him more rein. 

In so far as it lessened the chance that differences over policy would 
turn into personal clashes, which might accentuate the differences, this 
procedure was justified. Quite possibly it made for a more even flow 
of business, a more thorough examination of it, and a less haphazard 
outcome. And yet the historian is left with the rueful wish that instead 
of this regulated method there had been a great spurt of conciliatory 
spirit and revival of trust between three men, transfigured by concern 
for all the nations of the world. 

The only groups that did not draw apart during the Potsdam period 
—in fact grew closer— were the American and Soviet military staffs and 
commanders. Among the Americans were General Eisenhower and 
General Marshall and his colleagues on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in 
whose minds what counted most was the Soviet promise to join in the 
war against Japan, and so ease and shorten that struggle. 

It is notable that while the American and Soviet military staffs at 
Potsdam discussed thoroughly their strategy in the war against Japan, 
the treatment of political situations in the region was slight and desul- 
tory. Truman was satisfied with Stalin’s brief and unrecorded assurances 
that he did not seek to obtain for Russia more than what he had already 
been promised in the Yalta accord. Stalin did not try to secure from 
Truman definite assurances about the future regime and control of 



Japan. The plan for the exercise of a joint trusteeship for Korea was 
not translated into an operative program. 

All seemed willing to let these and other Far Eastern political ques- 
tions wait a while longer. Perhaps this was in part because of the crush 
of other business. Probably it was in part connected with the thought 
that the war against Japan would go on for quite a while, and that there 
would be adequate later chance to talk over these issues. Or avoidance 
of discussion may have been calculated, for events in the Far East were 
about to come to an ultimate climax: the Americans may have reckoned 
that their position would be stronger after the full power of the atomic 
weapon had been revealed and our forces had landed in Japan; while 
the Russians may have reckoned that their position would he stronger 
after their armies had driven the Japanese out of Manchuria and Korea 
and perhaps overflowed into China. 

As at Teheran and at Yalta the final main agreements were fused in 
haste. After a first trying week, analytical dissection of problems grad- 
ually turned into a quest for acceptable compromise. During the last 
two important days of the conference (July Ji and August i) both 
Truman and Stalin reached the limits of their political creativeness. 
Attlee and Bevin, having just taken over the government of England, 
seemed fresher of body, and Bevin livelier in view and words. But they 
did not bring any significant new conceptions or proposals to the con- 
ference. More exhausted than any were the assistants and advisers, who 
worked day and night on the communique to be given out and on the 
official record (the Protocol). 

Although the Heads of Government, on parting, paid tribute to 
their friendly association during the conference, no deep inner glow of 
friendship is to be found beneath their words. All three encouraged 
the world to believe that what they had done was sound and enduring. 
But their statements, I think, expressed a hope rather than a conviction. 

Here is Truman’s summary impression of the experience: "As I 
left for home I felt that we had achieved several important agreements. 
But more important were some of tht cowtlvaioris 1 had readied in my 
own mind and a realization of what I had to do in shaping future foreign 
policy.’" Two of these conclusions were of immediate consequence: a 
confirmation of the resolve not to share knowledge about the atomic 
weapon with the Soviet Unton unless and until there was a satisfactory 

* Year of Decision, pige *tt. 

t32* 1 

accord about control and inspection; and a resolution not to yield the 
Soviet government a part in the control of Japan. 

Churchill, as already remarked, was tired and dejected even before 
he left Potsdam. His electoral defeat left him with a sense that fortune 
was twisted. He had led his country through its most perilous pass, 
only at the end to be deprived of the chance to repair some of the mis- 
takes he thought were in the making, and perhaps still to bring about 
a good peace. He reverted to earlier angry judgments of the ominous 
character of the Soviet regime. 

Of the three, it may well be that Stalin was most nearly content at 
what had been done at Potsdam, for the Soviet position in regard to 
those European matters of most direct interest had come through un- 
scathed. But the conference could hardly have been regarded by him 
or his colleagues as a triumph. Several of their strong desires had been 
thwarted. The United States and Great Britain were less responsive 
than they had been during the war, and less inclined to trust the Soviet 
word. The western allies were standing out against both Soviet expan- 
sionism and Communist social ideals. 

Terminal was a bleak ending. The major accords made there soon 
began to break apart. 

The determination of the Soviet government to bring into power 
in Poland and the small states of central and southeastern Europe “peo- 
ples’ democracies” of the kind it favored, and to suppress all elements 
friendly to the West, was no longer to be denied. The Soviet govern- 
ment disregarded objections to its policy. Western admiration of the 
valorous Russian part in the war became dimmed by fear of Soviet 
ruthlessness and power, and by a realization that the followers of Mos- 
cow in the West would, if they could, destroy the existence of free 
government. The West was also alarmed by the way in which the Soviet 
Union, even though it was absorbing so large an area in the center of 
Europe, was seeking entry into points on its circumference; by its effort 
to get Norway to turn over Spitzbergen; its bid for one of the Italian 
colonies on the North African shore; its demand for control of the Black 
Sea Straits; its menacing ways in Iran. And in the Far East the Soviet 
union was set to extort from China special privileges that could be con- 
verted into control of Manchuria and Korea. 

In Germany, the close wartime military association between the 
western allies and the Soviet Union continued for a while longer to 
lock them together. Both groups responded to a sense of necessity to 


continue to work together in some sort of joint program for the control 
of Germany. But the differences of memory and interest, and of visions 
of a good public and private life, proved to be too deep to make genuine 
cooperation possible once the common danger was past. Despite its deep 
revulsion against Nazi Germany, the West could not bring itself to be 
as ruthless toward the defeated Germans as were the Russians. Possibly 
because their countries had not been invaded by the brutal Nazi forces, 
the Americans and the British lost their fear of Germany more quickly 
than the Russians. They began to believe that the more promising 
protection against revival of efficient and ruthless ambition was to be 
had by bringing the Germans back into the political and economic com- 
munity of the western democratic world. But the Soviet government was 
not willing to chance this — even when the western allies offered to join 
in a combined guarantee against possible future German aggression. The 
Soviet authorities — along with the Czechs and the Poles — had not for- 
gotten Munich, and they lapsed into mistrust of the western will to 
keep Germany down. They preferred to test further the chance that the 
Germans, if left long in distress, might adopt Communism. Or if that 
did not happen, they thought their safety would be better protected 
by maintaining control over the area of Germany that they occupied. 

The time of Potsdam should have been a time of exaltation. The 
enemy was prostrate. The suffering and separation were over. Great 
vows had been kept, and greater valor shown. The United Nations 
had the chance and the means to make over the world nearer to the 
visions of freedom, justice, peace, and fair well-being. But while pop- 
ulaces rejoiced, government officials knew that the prospect was overcast. 
As they looked over the scene of their triumph, their thoughts were 
brushed by the cold snow of mutual mistrust and dislike — between the 
western allies and the Soviet Union. 

Maybe, despite the dreary and repetitive battle of yeas and nays that is 
going on as I write these closing pages, after much wearing turmoil the 
West and the Communist realm will reach a mutually tolerable adjust- 
ment of their quarrels. Ironically enough, the chance that they will do 
so derives mainly from the “mutuality of terror” — from their power 
to destroy each other. 

But how long will it be effective against the push of national rival- 
ries and resentments if these are not subdued? Not forever, certainly. 
Long enough, it must be hoped, for all to learn to improve their ways 
and for time to bring about peaceful change. Truly in these years men 

t 323 ] 

and women are hearing the summons: “I call heaven and earth to record 
this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing 
and cursing; therefore choose life that both thee and thy seed may live.” 

To choose life, the great nations must one and all live and act more 
maturely and more trustfully than they did during the months that 
followed the end of the war against Germany. They must invalidate the 
historic lessons about national behavior that were illustrated during this 
period. The capability of men to respond to reason — and to master 
their passionate purposes and fancies — is undergoing its ultimate test. 


Supplementary Notes 
Main Sources Cited 

Supplementary Note I 

On the Use of a Short Instrument of Surrender for Germany 

The European Advisory Commission had by the early spring of 1945 
completed the text of an instrument of surrender to be signed by the German 
authorities. The American, British, and Soviet governments approved it in 
March, This was comprehensive, containing provisions to govern not only 
the submission and disposition of all German military forces and equipment 
but also the conduct and treatment of German civilian institutions and political 
and economic affairs. 

It was based on the supposition that when the time of surrender came, 
there would be in existence a central German civilian authority, which would 
sign the document together with the German High Command; it would be 
signed also by the four allied Commanders-in-Chief on behalf of their own 
governments (as recounted by Lord Strang, the British member of the EAC, 
in his book Home and. Abroad, page 222). 

By the middle of April, however, when the Nazi government went to 
pieces, the possibility emerged that there might be neither a German political 
nor military authority that could carry out an effective surrender. It was 
supposed that in that event the victors might join in the issuance of a Proclama- 
tion stating the terms on which they would accept the surrender of German 
armed forces and assume control over Germany. The British member of 
the EAC produced a suitable draft of a Proclamation, written with this cir- 
cumstance in mind. Notably, it did not use the explicit phrase “ unconditional 
surrender.” Moreover, it included statements on various points on which the 
lour powers in the EAC had not quite reached accord. The Russians, quick 
as always to attribute hidden motives to others, became mistrustful. They 
gave signs of a belief that in proposing the rarianc text the American and 
British governments were intending to change their general policy toward 
Germany. On being advised to this effect, the State Department merely 
passed on to Winant, the American representative on the EAC, a message 
consisting of a single statement from the President; “I do not wish any docu- 
ment or proposal changing unconditional surrender terms.” 

Both the State and the War Departments became perplexed by the dif- 
ficulties of composing a formal Proclamation such as was being discussed in 
the EAC, and bringing it into close accord with the comprehensive surrender 
instrument that the members had approved. So on the 19th of April, Winant 
was advised that they would prefer the issuance of a brief declaration, instead 
of a Proclamation converted from the surrender instrument. It would be 
adequate, he was told, if this declaration contained merely a few basic ele- 
ments: 1) a statement of Germany’s complete defeat and the imposition of 
the requirement of unconditional surrender; 2) the assumption of control 
authority by the four allied powers; 3) the establishment of the Control Com- 
mission and the delineation of zonal responsibilities; 4) an injunction to the 
Germans to comply with allied orders under warning of severe punishment 

1327 ] 


if they did not; and 5) notice that further resistance to the United Nations 
forces would be considered unlawful and dealt with accordingly. 

Having conveyed these views to Winant, however, the State Department 
concluded by telling him that it did not wish needlessly to hinder his effort 
to reach an accord with his colleagues on the EAC, and if in his judgment it 
was desirable to go forward with the idea of converting the long surrender 
instrument into a Proclamation, the American government would accept the 
verbal formulas for the change of which Winant had informed them. 

The members of the EAC were still working on this task of conversion 
when agents of the German government and High Command sought terms 
of surrender. The way and order in which the several German proposals 
flowed into Eisenhower’s and Montgomery’s headquarters have been recounted 
in Section 2. It appeared that there was an acceptable German authority (the 
German High Command) that could be required to sign a document of sur- 
render and be held responsible for its execution. 

But the original long instrument of surrender prepared in the EAC was 
not used. In its place General Walter Bedell Smith, acting for General Eisen- 
hower, presented to the Germans a much shorter statement of unconditional 
surrender. This was derived from a draft written long before by Assistant 
Secretary of War McCIoy, which had been reposing in the files of SHAEF. 
It required only the signatures of an authorized representative of the German 
High Command (acting for the German government) and General Eisen- 
hower, as Supreme Commander for the allies — and perhaps that of a repre- 
sentative of the Soviet High Command. 

The State Department was taken aback by the unexplained substitution. 
Even now the reasons for it are conjectural. A copy of the original EAC 
surrender instrument, and of the State Department letter to the Joint Chiefs 
recording the approval of the three governments of the text as it then stood, 
had been forwarded as early as March 20 to the Commanding General of 
ETOUSA (European Theatre of Operations, U.S.A.) for information and 
guidance. But the EAC had then become engaged in amending the instrument 
to include France, as had been agreed at Yalta. At the time of the surrender 
talks with the Germans, various proposed small changes had not yet been ap- 
proved by all four governments, and their representatives on the EAC were 
still awaiting formal authority to sign the amended instrument. Thus the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff had not been asked by the EAC or the governments 
to transmit that final text to Eisenhower. 

In these circumstances Eisenhower decided to use the shorter military in- 
strument SHAEF had in hand. The Joint Chiefs probably were informed of 
the decision in advance, for according to Strang, Churchill was, and he approved 
the decision. Whether or not the Soviet liaison officer at SHAEF or the Soviet 
High Command was consulted about this matter, the records available to me 
do not tell. In any case, it is probable that Winant was correct in his opinion 
that one other reason for the use of the shorter document was the belief in 
SHAEF that the acknowledgment of complete defeat could thereby be had 
with least discussion and delay. 

Winant, on learning on May 5 that this was going to be done, got in touch 



with Churchill and General Smith. He persuaded them to include an article 
in the briefer document stipulating: “This act of military surrender is without 
prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender 
imposed by or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to Germany 
and the German armed forces as a whole.” 

This article warded off any possible German protest later on, when the 
allies imposed the terms defined in the longer document and the four Cora- 
manders-in-Chief issued a declaration assuming supreme authority in Germany. 

Supplementary Note 2 

American Policies in Regard to the Provision 
of Lend-Lease Aid for the Soviet Union and Great 
Britain after the Ending of the War Against Germany 

The main features of our policy vis-a-vis the Soviet Union, as fixed during 
May- June 1945, were: 1) the ships at sea carrying Lend-Lease supplies 
should be allowed to proceed to their destination; 2) the vessels, both dry 
cargo and tanker, then being loaded would get their full cargo and also be 
allowed to leave for the Soviet Union; but 3) no further ships should be 
loaded with supplies in the Atlantic or Gulf ports, pending an examination of 
the current program in the light of organized resistance in Europe; 4) in the 
Pacific the loading programs for May and June would be completed as planned, 
since these supplies would so largely be of use to Russia in the war against 
Japan; 5) the scheduled shipment of supplies from the West Coast for the 
Arctic program would be carried forward, while that from the Atlantic 
Coast should be reexamined; 6) most important, deliveries under the pro- 
gramming of Annex III of the Fourth Lend-Lease Protocol, which included 
military supplies, raw materials, industrial equipment, and food, would be 
continued without interruption (these were for use by the Soviet Union in 
the war against Japan) ; 7) supplies needed to complete industrial plants in 
the Soviet Union which had already been made available in part under previous 
agreements would be delivered; 8) supplies on order in the United States, 
but not yet shipped and not part of any program toward which we had as- 
sumed an obligation, should be ended at once, and as far as practicable such 
goads and the related shipping tonnage would be diverted to supply programs 
for western Europe; 9) any further future supply program for the Soviet 
Union would be decided on the basis of adequate information regarding the 
essentiality of Soviet military requirements, in the light of all competing de- 
mands and the changing military situation; 10) there would be no more Lend- 
Lease shipments of oil from Abadan or Bahrein to the Soviet Union. 

On May 28, two days after Stalin had complained to Hopltins about the 
abrupt American slash in Lend-Lease aid, Molotov and Mikoyan submitted 
to Barriman the Soviet program for Lend-Lease deliveries during the second 
half of 1945 - The goods asked were in addition to the unfilled balances of 
the Fourth Protocol. The new requests mounted up to 570,000 tons. The 



Soviet presentation stated that all these requests were directly related to the 
support of projects visualized under Annex III of the Fourth Protocol, par- 
ticidarly for the programs to the Arctic, for airways and fishing programs, and 
for certain equipment promised under the Fourth Protocol which had not been 
delivered by July I, 1945. Taken altogether, and including these new re- 
quests, the total tonnage involved in this six-month period would have been 
1,800,000 tons, of which 400,000 tons were oil. 

The American Embassy in Moscow at once started a dose examination of 
the program, and submitted its recommendations to Washington. There the 
Protocol Committee, acting under directives of the Chiefs of Staff, proceeded 
to authorize only a part of the newly requested materials, less than half. But 
almost all the undelivered goods under the Fourth Protocol were subsequently 
delivered, as were almost all Soviet requirements under Annex III, with the 
exception of some railroad cars and planes. 

This is a very approximate and general summary of what was done for the 
Soviet Union in the way of providing it with Lend-Lease supplies during the 
period between May and September 1945. The purpose is merely to indicate 
that the complaint made by Stalin to Hopkins was at least partially effective, 
although the American authorities continued to exercise strict judgment in 
passing on the question of whether goods asked by the Soviet Union were 
really needed for the conduct of the war, as contemplated in the Lend-Lease 

The question of the effect of the curtailment of Lend-Lease on Soviet- 
American relations must be considered in connection with the gradual disap- 
pearance of the idea of a large credit for the Soviet Union, and also in relation 
to the disputes over the scale of reparations to be taken from Germany. 

The American Executive, after the defeat of Germany, thought it was 
required by law to terminate Lead-Lease aid to the British Commonwealth, 
except what would serve the combat effort against Japan (Potsdam Papers, 
Document 542, footnote 4). 

Churchill reviewed British requirements in a message to Truman on May 
28 (1 bid., Document 537, footnote 5). Truman responded in a memo for 
Churchill on July 17 (ibid., Document 1189). In this he said that the 
American government intended to furnish Lend-Lease aid to the British 
Commonwealth for the prosecution of the war against Japan, but the amount 
in total or on individual items would not necessarily be as previously estimated} 
and he asked the Prime Minister to relax restrictions on dollar payments for 
certain items owing to the United States. Churchill pointed out in return that 
the munitions requirements of the Commonwealth for the first year after 
the German surrender had already been scaled down from 2.8 billion to 1.8 
billion, and that Washington agencies seemed to be construing the law "in 
the narrowest possible sense” and so reducing munitions supply to the vanishing 
point (ibid., Document 1 190). 0 

Consequent discussion of the issue took piece in the meetings of the Joint 
and Combined Chiefs of Staff at Potsdam hetween July 20 and July 24 
in connection with their report on Basic Objectives, Strategies, and Policies! 

[ 330 ] 


The British Chiefs of Staff argued that the limitation of Lend-Lease aid 
to what was needed for direct use against the Japanese did not adequately 
fulfill the basic strategic plans that were being jointly formulated. Their view 
was that the United States should continue at least to provide means of sup- 
port not only for such forces in the liberated areas as could play an active 
and effective role in the war against Japan but also for such forces as were 
required "to maintain order in the interest of the war effort," especially in 
the liberated countries of Europe. The Joint Chiefs, however, refused to 
accept this responsibility. 

The issues were presented to Truman and Churchill on July 24, when 
they met with the Combined Chiefs. The Prime Minister pointed out that 
because of the close meshing of British and American industrial effort during 
the war, based on various agreements and his talk with Roosevelt at Quebec, 
many British military units were supplied with American equipment. This 
could not be quickly replaced. Moreover, he feared that a rigid rule to main- 
tain British warmaking capacity only in so far as it was connected with the 
prosecution of the war against Japan would be very hard on Britain. Truman 
said he was restrained by the fact that as Vice-President he had helped to 
work out the terms of the most recent renewal of the Lend-Lease Act, and 
at the time he had explained to Congress that the aid would be for war pur- 
poses only. He was trying to give the Act the broadest legitimate interpretation. 
He must ask Churchill to be patient, for he did not want to get into trouble 
with Congress. 

The most difficult question was in essence whether the American govern- 
ment would continue to equip and supply the occupation forces of our allies 
in western Europe: British, French, Belgian, Dutch. Some of these, it could 
be foreseen, might be used later to repossess or garrison colonial possessions 
outside of Europe. 

The provisions that were included in the “Basic Undertakings and Prosecu- 
tion of the War,” approved at the end of the discussions by the Combined 
Chiefs and by Churchill and Truman, read: 

“Maintain the war-making capacity of the United States and the British 
Commonwealth insofar as it is connected with the prosecution of the war 
against Japan. 

“Provide assistance to such forces of liberated areas as can fulfill an active 
and effective role in the present war in accordance with the overall con- 
ception [which included maintenance of military control of Germany and 

On July 28 President Truman sent to the Joint Chiefs a new interpretation 
of his Directive of July 5. This, in addition to the provision of military equip- 
ment for British Commonwealth and Empire forces for use in the war against 
Japan, in tStct auAhoriitd a. suhstaadai amount. o£ Lead-Least tqsupratav foi 
allied occupation forces in Germany and in other foreign bases, for it ac- 
corded the Joint Chiefs discretion: t) in supplying allied governments or 
forces when this would sene in direct support of redeployment of American 
troops, or of allied troops in connection with their redeployment for action 
in support of the war against Japan; 2) in supplying subsistence and equip- 

i»i 1 


ment for such allied units as were serving American forces in any area. It 
also authorized the continuation, for several months longer, of Lend-Lease 
supplies for the replacement and maintenance of military units already equipped 
by the United States under the North Atlantic Rearmament Program, the 
Metropolitan Rearmament Program, and the Air Forces Program \ibid. t 
Document 1193). 

Churchill also devoted himself to securing from the United States a more 
usual form of financial aid, so greatly needed to enable Great Britain to regain 
a self-sustaining peacetime situation. At lunch with Truman on July 18 
he described Britain’s “melancholy” position: more than half her former 
foreign investments used up for the common cause; a huge external debt 
incurred for purchase of supplies during the war; the rundown condition of 
many British export industries and the stricken state of some British living 
areas; the current large dependence on American food. Truman responded 
sympathetically — reflecting that if Britain had not managed to fight on alone 
for a time, the United States might now be fighting the Germans on the 
American coast. He said he would do his utmost, but the Prime Minister 
would appreciate the difficulties he might have with American opposition. 

As a result of the ensuing correspondence and talk it was agreed between 
Truman and Churchill, and Attlee when he followed up the matter after 
Churchill’s departure, that the British government should send a special mission 
to Washington — probably in December. It would be sent for the purpose of 
reviewing with the American authorities the British postwar financial position 
and economic arrangements and possible American aid. 

The discussions regarding a possible loan were tardily started, however. 
In the meantime, on August a I, a fortnight after the surrender of Japan, 
the American government directed that all Lend-Lease aid to Britain he 
discontinued. This order directed that all outstanding contracts for Lend- 
Lease be cancelled, except when the foreign government was wiling to agree 
to take them over and pay for them, or when it was in the interest of the U.S. 
to complete them. Because of the lament in Britain over this action — following 
on the intimate association in the ordeal of war — Truman felt it necessary to 
explain puMidy that the step was not meant as a blow at the new British 
Labour government. The reason was, he explained, that Lend-Lease was 
conceived as a weapon of war, that the war was over, and that furthermore 
when the law had been extended for the last time he had promised, as Vice- 
President, that it would end when the war was over. 

The very next day, August 24, Prime Minister Attlee stated in the House 
of Commons that the end of Lend-Lease placed Great Britain “in a very 
serious financial position.” He was planning to send emissaries to Washington 
at once to discuss the situation. Churchill, commenting on Attlee’s statement, 
called it "very grave, disquieting news.” The Economist (August 2S, 104c) 
titled its report of the action “Lend-Lease Guillotine.” 

The American government took sufficient heed of this worried British 
response to form a committee of high officials to study the new situation that 
would follow the termination of Lend-Lease and make recommendations 
to the President. The long and severe bargaining struggle with the British 



about the terms of the reconstruction loan was about to begin when the Japanese 
envoys went through the final act of surrender on board the Missouri. 

The full depth and dimension of British needs and difficulties were only 
slowly revealed in the coming years. And they were sympathetically appreciated 
only when the menace of Russia and Communist activity and ambition had 
begun to be plain. 

The foregoing is an incomplete and fragmentary account of the com- 
plicated Anglo-American discussions that took place between May and Sep- 
tember, *945- For an adequate knowledge the inquirer is referred to the 
many documents in the collection of the Potsdam Papers. 

Supplementary Note 3 

Negotiations about the German Navy and Merchant Marine 

Not long after the surrender of Germany, Stalin, in messages to Churchill 
and Truman, noted that Germany had turned over almost all its navy and 
merchant vessels to the British and Americans, almost none to the Soviet 
armed forces. He asked them whether they were willing to share these prizes 
of war with the Soviet government. One-third of each, he thought, would 
be fair as a minimum. 

Neither the American nor the British government thought that the Soviet 
Union needed the naval vessels for any legitimate purpose. They were re- 
luctant to contribute to an enlarged Soviet fleet, against which they might have 
to compete later. While they were considering the matter, Stalin complained 
to Hopkins — in their second talk, on May 27. He said that if his request was 
rejected, it would be very unpleasant. Hopkins told him that he knew that the 
American government did not want to keep any of these German ships per- 
manently, and he thought the matter could be arranged when the Marshal 
met with the President and the Prime Minister. Both ChurchflJ and Truman 
let Stalin know they were willing to discuss it when they met. 

The State Department left it to the Joint or Combined Chiefs of Staff to 
advise about the disposition of the German fleet, since this was deemed to 
be in the military sphere. It saw no ordinary reason, however, for not turning 
over one-third of the German merchant ships to the Soviet Union. Admiral 
Leahy was of the opinion that this ought not to be done until after the defeat 
of Japan, so that the vessels might be used in that struggle. The Joint Chiefs 
of Staff came to the same conclusion. They advised the President (on July 
17, just as the Potsdam Conference was starting) that in their opinion all 
captured or surrendered German merchant vessels should be divided among 
the allied nations at a suitable time, except lor such coastwise and inland water- 
craft as might be essential for the minimum German economy; for the time 
being all ought to be placed in the common pool of shipping operated by the 
western allies, and every effort ought to he made to persuade the Russians 
to enter the United Maritime Authority agreement, which controlled the use 
of the ships in the pool; and in view of our urgent need for more ships to 



cariy troops to the Far East, all captured or surrendered enemy vessels suitable 
for that purpose should be made available at once for that service. 

As regards the German naval fleet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff conveyed 
their views to the President in Potsdam on July 17, just before the subject 
was brought into discussion. They had concluded that it would be best if all 
German naval vessels, except a few useful LSTs and some naval auxiliary ships, 
were sunk or scrapped. But if the American government could not get the 
Soviet and British governments to agree to that course, then it ought to pro- 
pose that all the heavier vessels and submarines be sunk, and that the smaller 
and more lightly armed vessels be shared among the four main allies, that is, 
including France. If it could not gain assent even to that, then all four powers 
might share equally in the division of each category of ships. In any event, 
the Joint Chiefs concluded, we ought to insist that all submarines be sunk. 

When the Foreign Ministers began to consider the order of business for 
the Heads of Government at Potsdam, Molotov showed that he did not intend 
to allow this subject to be forgotten.. He tried to get Byrnes and Eden to 
agree to bring it up at once, Jong with matters of far greater range. But 
Byrnes objected. And Eden remarked that since this was one of the most 
simple of the matters they had before them, he thought it could well wait; 
he could promise that the German fleet would not be sunk in the meanwhile. 

At the First Plenary Session of the conference, on the afternoon of the 
tytb, Stalin followed up Molotov’s initiative by proposing that this subject 
be added to the list of topics Truman presented for discussion. Just before 
this session ended, he reverted to the matter, asking “Why does Churchill 
refuse to give Russia her share of the German fleet!” Churchill’s answer 
seemed to indicate that he was attracted to the idea of destroying it rather 
than dividing it. But Stalin said "Let’s divide it. If Mr. Churchill wishes, he 
can sink his share.” 

The Soviet government, on July 1 9, submitted a proposal that one-third of 
the total German navy, wherever located, including ships under construction 
or in repair, be handed over to the Soviet Union, along with one-third of all 
German reserve naval arms, ammunition, and supplies; and that one-third 
of the German merchant marine be so transferred. It suggested that the turn- 
over of ships be begun in August and completed by November. 

At the Plenary Session that day, Stalin urged the others to approve at once 
this Soviet proposal. The ensuing discussion was warm and rambling. Churchill 
discoursed. He was not opposed to dividing up the German navy, but he 
thought that its submarines, of which, he pointed out, the Russians had forty- 
five in the Baltic, were in a different class from other ships, since they had 
only limited legal use; hence he would like to see most of them sunk. 

The Prime Minister saw no objection to the proposed division of the 
merchant fleet. But other countries also, such as Norway, which had lost so 
large a part of its shipping in the war, deserved a share. And he agreed with 
the President that the ships ought to be available for use in the war against 
Japan and for other immediate uses, such as the transport of food and other 
essentials to Europe and the relief of liberated countries, such as Greece and 
Norway and “our Russian ally.” The ships in the Russian share, he suggested, 



could be earmarked, if they had any ears when the Japanese war was over, 
and if any were damaged they could be “made good from our general re- 

Stalin assumed an injured air: of course it was not posable “to depict the 
Russians as having the intention to interfere in the war against Japan,” and 
the matter could not be put in a way to imply that they were “to receive a 
gift from the allies”; they were “not after a gift.” If Churchill and Truman 
approved the Soviet request in principle, he would be satisfied, and would not 
object to having the Russian third of the merchant ships used as the others in 
the war against Japan. 

There was one more point, Stalin added. The Russians had not yet seen 
the German naval fleet, or even been given a list of the vessels. Could they not 
inspect them? Of course, Churchill said, but the British in return would like 
to be given the chance to see German installations in the Baltic; he believed 
that the Russians had obtained forty-five German U-boats in Danzig; they 
would like an exchange. Truman said the Russians could see anything they 
wanted in the American zone on a reciprocal basis. 

So >n effect the Russian title to one-third of both the German merchant 
marine and the naval fleet was recognized at this early session, but subject to 
the understanding that those vessels that would be useful and needed would 
be kept under allied control until the Pacific war was brought to an end. 
Whether and how other countries were to share in the distribution was left 
for further discussion. And the promised turnover of naval vessels was subject 
to one further qualification, entered by Churchill. Twice, he recalled with 
feeling, Britain had almost perished because of submarine activity; nations like 
Britain, with dense populations living in small areas surrounded by water, 
did nor welcome the acquisition or construction by others of this type of ship. 
So he would want to discuss further how many of the captured submarines 
were to be sunk; of those that were not, he agreed that the division should 
he equal. Stalin responded by saying that he too was in favor of sinking many 
of the U-boats. It having thus been indicated that the views of the three 
were near together, the working out of the accord was left to the last days 
of the conference. This meant that if the three great allies were still friends 
at the end, the Russians would get what they wanted; if they qu arreled, the 
Russians would have to get along without these German vessels. 

But final agreement on the precise terms and conditions proved harder and 
longer than expected. Bevin’s stubbornness in the end brought Molotov to 
agree that all but thirty submarines were to be sunk. Beyin also wrung from 
Molotov acceptance of a provision that the Control Council should determine 
first of all how much and what kinds of merchant tannage (inland and coastal 
ships) would be needed for the level of the German economy to be maintained, 
and that these should be excluded from the division. But Bevin, who had 
argued that because the western allies would have to turn over a substantial 
amount of the merchant tonnage to their smaller maritime associates, the 
Soviet Union should be satisfied with a quarter of the total divisible tonnage, 
gave in on this point: he agreed that it would have a third, of which it should 
turn over part to Poland. 

C 335 J 


The Potsdam protocol stipulated that the transfer of naval vessels should 
be completed as soon as possible, and not later than February 1 5, 1946. But 
the transfer of the merchant vessels was to be deferred until after the end of 
the war against Japan. That came more quickly than expected. 

Supplementary Note 4. 

The Stipulations Regarding a Basic Standard of Living for the Germans 
in Directive for Eisenhower of May 14, 1945 

Two different wa)s of describing the basic standards of living for which 
allied controls might, if necessary, be employed were in the directive that was 
sent to Eisenhower on May 14 (JCS 1067/8). Paragraph 5 authorized the 
use of such controls as were “essential to protect the safety and meet the needs 
0} the occupying forces and assure the production and maintenance of goods 
and services necessary to prevent starvation and such unrest as would endanger 
these forces” (my italics). Paragraph 21 stipulated: “You will estimate re- 
quirements of supplies necessary to prevent starvation or widespread disease or 
such civil unrest as would endanger the occupying forces. Such estimates will 
be based upon a program whereby the Germans are made responsible for 
providing for themselves, out of their own work and resources. . . . You will 
take no action that would tend to support basic living standards in Germany 
on a higher level than that existing its any one of the neighboring United Na- 
tions and you will take appropriate measures to ensure that basic living Stand- 
ards of the German people are not higher than those existing in any one of the 
neighboring United Nations when such measure will contribute to raising the 
standards of any such nation” (my italics). 

Supplementary Note 5 

On “War Booty” and “Restitution” 

One of the most trying issues both in the Allied Reparation Commission 
and at Potsdam was the question of what seizures of German property and 
what recaptures of allied property taken by the Germans should be accounted 
as outside the reparations program. 

What could be properly taken as war booty, without being entered into the 
reparations account’ Only finished military equipm/tat awl pto&wid 

for and belonging to the German armed forces, as the Americans proposed? 
Or any and all goods that had served the German military effort, including 
factories, trucks, and office equipment, as the Russians proposed? 

What could be claimed and acquired as restitution, that is, as a return of 
stolen property, and thus not fee regarded as reparations? Truman, at the First 
Plenary Session on July 17, submitted a definition conforming to what Pauley 

[ 336 1 


had been advocating in the Reparation Commission: “restitution” should be 
confined to identifiable artistic, religious, and cultural objects; other kinds of 
identifiable stolen property should be treated as reparations, with each owner 
country having a prior claim. The Russians, however, proposed that restitu- 
tion cover all kinds of identifiable property, and replacement of any that had 
been damaged, lost, or destroyed. 

The British government, before and at Potsdam, was half-heartedly will- 
ing to go along with the American government in its efforts to confine both 
of these kinds of property removals, but the British officials were dubious about 
the good sense and effectiveness of limiting definitions. They thought that 
these would hamper the western occupants, while the Russians would anyway 
take anything they wanted and could get. 

Many additional and more systematic details of the different views and 
proposals in this complex field are to be found in the Potsdam Papers, par- 
ticularly in Documents 376, 377, 380, and 894. 

Supplementary Note 6 

Provisions in the M ontreux Convention of 1936 
Pertinent to Soviet Demands for Revision 

Under Article 2 of the 1936 Montreux Convention, merchant vessels 
under any flag and with any kind of cargo were to enjoy freedom of transit 
and navigation in time of peace; and under Article 4 they were to have this 
right also in time of war, if Turkey was not a belligerent. In time of war, with 
Turkey belligerent, the merchant vessels belonging to countries not at war 
with Turkey were to retain this right “on condition that they do not in any 
way assist the enemy,” according to Article 5, but Turkey was authorized to 
require them to enter the Straits by day and follow a prescribed route. And, 
under Article 6, “Should Turkey consider herself threatened with imminent 
danger of war it could apply the same rules as under Article 5.” 

In time of peace, or in time of war when Turkey was not a belligerent, 
Turkey was authorized by Articles 10 and 19 to impose various rules and 
b'mitations on the passage through the Straits of the vessels of war of the Black 
Sea Powers ( for example, capital ships could pass only singly, escorted by nor 
more than two destroyers) and stricter rules and limitations on the vessels of 
war of other countries. Under Articles 20 and 21 “the passage of war ships 
shall be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish Government” at any time 
that Turkey was at war or considered itself threatened with imminent danger 
of war. 

The text of the Montreux Convention is in British White Paper Cmd. 

5249 (*93 6 )- 

1 337 J 


Supplementary Note 7 

Protocol 0} Proceedings of the Berlin Conference, July lj— August 2, 
194$. Department of State Press Release, March 24, 1947 

The Berlin conference of the three heads of government of the Union of 
Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America, and United King- 
dom, which took place from July 17 to August 2, 1945> came to the follow- 
ing conclusions: 


A. The conference reached the following agreement for the establishment 
of a Council of Foreign Ministers to do the necessary preparatory work for 
the peace settlements: 


There shall be established a Council composed of the Foreign Ministers of 
the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, France 
and the United States. 

(I) The Council shall normally meet in London, which shall be the 
permanent seat of the joint secretariat which the Council will form. Each 
of the Foreign Ministers will be accompanied by a high-ranking deputy, duly 
authorized to carry on the work of the Council in the absence of his Foreign 
Minister, and by a small staff of technical advisers. 

(II) The first meeting of the Council shall be held in. London not later 
than September 1, 1945. Meetings may be held by common agreement in 
other capitals as may be agreed from time to time. 


(I) As its immediate important task the Council shall be authorized to 
draw up, with a view to their submission to the United Nations, treaties of 
peace with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland, and to propose 
settlements of territorial questions outstanding on the termination of the war 
in Europe. The Council shall be utilized for the preparation of a peace settle- 
ment for Germany to be accepted by the Government of Germany when a 
Government adequate for the purpose is established. 

(Il) For the discharge of each of these tasks the Council will be composed 
of the members representing those states which were signatory to the terms of 
surrender imposed upon the enemy state concerned. For the purpose of the 
peace settlement for Italy, France shall be regarded as a signatoiy to the 
terms of surrender for Italy. Other members will be invited to participate 
when matters directly concerning them are under discussion. 

1 338 3 


(III) Other matters may from time to rime be referred to the Council 
by agreement between the member Governments. 


(I) Whenever the Council is considering a question of direct interest to a 
state not represented thereon, such state should be invited to send representa- 
tives to participate in the discussion and study ol that question. 

(II) The Council may adapt its procedure to the particular problems under 
consideration. In some cases it may hold its own preliminary discussions prior 
to the participation of other interested states. In other cases, the Council may 
Convoke a formal conference of the state chiefly interested in seeking a solu- 
tion of the particular problem. 

B. It was agreed that the three Governments should each address an 
identical invitation to the Governments of China and France to adopt this 
text and to join in establishing the Council. The text of the approved invita- 
tion was as follows: 

Council of Foreign Ministers draft for identical invitation to 
GoyxjtNMFjm of China and Francs- 

The Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and the 
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics consider it necessary to begin without 
delay the essential preparatory work upon the peace settlements in Europe. 
To this end they are agreed that there should be established a Council of the 
Foreign Ministers of the five great powers to prepare treaties of peace with 
the European enemy states from submission to the United Nations. The Coun- 
cil would also be empowered to propose settlements of Outstanding territorial 
questions in Europe and to consider such other matters as member Govern- 
ments might agree to refer to it. 

The text adopted by the Three Government! is at follows: 

(Here insert final agreed text of the proposal.) 

"In agreement with the Governments of the United States, His Majesty’s 
Government in the United Kingdom and Union of Sovitr Socialist Republics, 
the United States Government, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Govern- 
ment extend a cordial invitation to the Government of China (France) to 
adopt the text quoted above and to join in setting up the Council. His Maj- 
esty’s Government, the United States Government, the Soviet Government 
attach much importance to the participation of the Chinese Government 
(French Government) in the proposed arrangements and they hope to re- 
ceive an early and favorahle reply to this invitation.” 

C. It was understood that the establishment of the Council of Foreign 
Ministers for the specific purposes named in the text would be without 
prejudice to the agreement of the Crimea Conference that there should be 
periodical consultation between the Foreign Secretaries of the United States, 
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom. 

D. The conference also considered the position of the European Advisory 

€ 339 J 


Commission in the light of the agreement to establish the Council of Foreign 
Ministers. It was noted with satisfaction that the Commission had ably dis- 
charged its principal tasks by the recommendations that it had furnished for 
the terms of surrender for Germany, for the zones of occupation in Germany 
and Austria and for the inter-Allicd control machinery in those countries. It 
was felt that further work of a detailed character for the coordination of Allied 
policy for the control of Germany and Austria would in future fall within 
the competence of the Control Council at Berlin and the Allied Commission 
at Vienna. Accordingly, it was agreed to recommend that the European Ad- 
visory Commission be dissolved. 

A. Political f rind f Us. 


In accordance with the agreement on control machinery in Germany, su- 
preme authority in Germany is exercised, on instructions from their respective 
Governments, by the commanders in chief of the armed forces of the United 
States of America, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Re- 
publics and the French Republic, each in his own zone of occupation, and 
also jointly, in matters affecting Germany as a whole, in their capacity as 
members of the Control Council. 


So far as is practicable, there shall be uniformity of treatment of the Ger- 
man population throughout Germany. 


The purposes of the occupation of Germany by which the Control Council 
shall be guided are: 

(I) The complete disarmament and demilitarization of Germany and the 
elimination or control of all German industry that could be used for military 
production. To these ends: 

(0) All German land, naval and air forces, the SS, SA, SD and Gestapo, 
with all their organizations, staffs and institutions, including the general staff, 
the officers’ corps, reserve corps, military schools, war veterans organizations 
and all other military and semi-military organizations, together with all clubs 
and associations which serve to keep alive the military tradition in Germany, 
shall be completely and finally abolished in such manner as permanently to 
prevent the revival or reorganization of German militarism and nazism; 

(1) All arms, ammunition and implements of war and all specialized 
facilities for their production shall be held at the disposal of the Allies or de- 
stroyed. The maintenance and production of all aircraft and all arms, am- 
munition and implements of war shall be prevented. 

(II) To convince the German people that they have suffered a total 
military defeat and that they cannot escape responsibility for what they have 



brought upon themselves, since their own ruthless warfare and the fanatical 
Nazi resistance have destroyed German economy and made chaos and suffering 

(III) To destroy the National Socialist party and its affiliated and super* 
vised organizations, to dissolve all Nazi institutions, to insure that they are 
not revived in any form and to prevent all Nazi and militarist activity or 

(IV) To prepare for the eventual reconstruction of German political life 
on a democratic basis and for eventual peaceful cooperation in international 
life by Germany. 


All Nazi laws which provide the basis of the Hitler regime or established 
discriminations on grounds of race, creed or political opinion shall be abolished. 
No such discriminations, whether legal, administrative or otherwise, shall 
be tolerated. 


War criminals and chose who have participated in planning or carrying out 
Nazi enterprises involving or resulting in atrocities or war crimes shall be 
arrested and brought to judgment. Nazi leaders, influential Nazi supporters 
and high officials of Nazi organizations and institutions and any other persons 
dangerous to the occupation or its objectives shall be arrested and interned. 

15 ] 

All members of the Nazi party who have been more than nominal par- 
ticipants in its activities and ail other persons hostile to Allied purposes shall 
be removed from public and semi-public office and from positions of respon- 
sibility in important private undertakings. Such persons shall be replaced by 
persons who, by their political and moral qualities, are deemed capable of assist- 
ing in developing genuine democratic institutions in Germany. 


German education shall be so controlled as completely to eliminate Nazi 
and militarist doctrines and to make possible the successful development of 
democratic ideas. 

[ 8 ) 

The judicial system will be reorganized in accordance with the principles 
of democracy, of justice under law and of equal rights for all citizens without 
distinction of race, nationality or religion. 

[ 9 ] 

The administration in Germany should be directed toward the decentraliza- 
tion of the political structure and the development of local responsibility. To 
this end: 

(I) Local self-government shall be restored throughout Germany on dem- 

[ 347 ] 


ocratic principles and in particular through elective councils as rapidly as is 
consistent with military security and the purposes of military occupation; 

(II) All democratic political parties with rights of assembly and of public 
discussion shall be allowed and encouraged throughout Germany; 

(III) Representative and elective principles shall be introduced into re- 
gional, provincial and state (Land) administration as rapidly as may be justified 
by the successful application of these principles in local self-government ; 

(IV) For the time being, no central German Government shall be estab- 
lished. Notwithstanding this, however, certain essential central German ad- 
ministrative departments, headed by state secretaries, shall be established, par- 
ticularly in the fields of finance, transport, communications, foreign trade and 
industry. Such departments will act under the direction of the Control Council. 


Subject to the necessity for maintaining military security, freedom of speech, 
press and religion shall be permitted, and religious institutions shall be respected. 
Subject likewise to the maintenance of military security, the formation of free 
trade unions shall be permitted. 

B. Economic principle/. 


In order to eliminate Germany’s war potential, the production of arms, 
ammunition and implements of war as well as all types of aircraft and sea- 
going ships shall be prohibited and prevented. Production of metals, chemicals, 
machinery and other items that are directly necessary to a war economy shall 
be rigidly controlled and restricted to Germany’s approved post-war peace- 
time needs to meet the objectives stated in Paragraph 15. Productive capacity 
not needed for permitted production shall be removed in accordance with the 
reparations plan recommended by the Allied Commission on reparations and 
approved by the Governments concerned, or if not removed, shall be destroyed. 

[ 12 ] 

At the earliest practicable date, the German economy shall be decentralized 
for the purpose of eliminating the present excessive concentration of economic 
power as exemplified in particular by cartels, syndicates, trusts and other 
monopolistic arrangements. 

[ 13 ] 

In organizing the German economy, primary emphasis shall be given to 
the development of agriculture and peaceful domestic industries,. 


During the period of occupation Germany shall be treated as a single eco- 
nomic unit. To this end, common policies shall be established in regard to: 

(a) Mining and industrial production and its allocation; 

(4) Agriculture, forestry and fishing; 

C 342 1 


(t) Transportation and communicanona. ,pp„, of 

In applj ing these policies, account shall ' 

varying local conditions. 

[■Si t , 

Allied controls shall b= intposed upon thn Gt.ntan economy, but only 

“ W Tlt^Tu7pt0E-s «i »■>»«¥ 

of reparations and of approved exports ^J^ance'of goods and services re- 
(b) To assure the production and persons in Ger- 

quired to meet the needs of the occupying o ^ j iving standards not ex- 
many and essential to maintain in G y FuroDean countries. (Euro- 

ceeding the average of the sundat* » f ' S^j di ^ A United Kingdom 
pean countries means all European countries, encm k 
and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.) ^ Comdl 

(r) To insure in the manner *ttnwn several zones so as 

S U ;“tct: ri br»ced f e'cromyXu g hou. Germany and reduce the need 

^?) P To control German industry and d 1 economic 

Slptg o war'potential S i .*•*( the edit, objec 

"(."^•011 German 

and experimental institutions, laboratones, et 



In die imposidon and maintenance ,1 economic St 

Control Council, German administrative mad"""/ ^ ' “ble to p"o- 

German authorities shall be requited tolhe “ “ it ^ ou| j b e brought 

daim and assume administration of such cont administration of 

home to the German people that the responsibility Ae adoration ot 
such controls and any breakdown in these contro ^ { occupat ; on 

Any German controls which may run counter to the objecuv 
will be prohibited. 


Measures shall be promptly taken: 

(o) To effect essential repair of transport; 

(6) To enlarge coal production; 

(«) To maximize agricultural output; and 

(<i) To effect emergency repair of housing and essential utilities. 




Appropriate steps shall be taken by the Control Council to exercise control 
and the power of disposition over German-owned external assets not already 
under the control of United Nations which have taken part in the war against 

[ x 9 ] 

Payment of reparations should leave enough resources to enable the German 
people to subsist without external assistance. In working out the economic 
balance of Germany, the necessary means must be provided to pay for imports 
approved by the Control Council in Germany. 

The proceeds of exports from current production and stocks shall be avail- 
able in the first place for payment for such imports. 

The above clause will not apply to the equipment and products referred to 
in Paragraphs 4 (a) and 4 (A) of the reparations agreement. 



Reparation claims of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall be met by 
removals from the zone of Germany occupied by the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics and from appropriate German external assets. 


The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics undertakes to settle the reparation 
claims of Poland from its own share of reparations. 

[ 3 ] 

The reparation claims of the United States, the United Kingdom and other 
countries entitled to reparations shall be met from the Western zones and from 
appropriate German external assets. 


In addition to the reparations to be taken by the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics from its own zone of occupation, the Union of Soviet Socialist Re- 
publics shall receive additionally from the Western zones: 

(") *5 percent of such usable and complete industrial capital equipment, 
in the first place from the metallurgical, chemical and machine manufacturing 
industries as is unnecessary for the German peace economy and should be re- 
moved from the Western zones of Germany, in exchange for an equivalent 
value of food, coal, potash, zinc, ember, clay products, petroleum products 
and such other commodities as may be agreed upon. 

(b) 10 percent of such industrial capital equipment as is unnecessary for the 
German peace economy and should be removed from the Western zones, to 
be transferred to the Soviet Government on reparations account without pay- 

[ 344 ] 


ment or exchange of any land in return. Removals of equipment as provided 
in (a) and (i) above shall be made simultaneously. 


The amount of equipment to be removed from the Western zones on ac- 
count of reparations must be determined within six months from now at the 


Removals of industrial capital equipment shall begin as soon as possible and 
shall be completed within two years from the determination specified in Para- 
graph 5. The delivery of products covered by 4 (a) above shall begin as soon 
as possible and shall be made by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 
agreed installments within five years of the date hereof. The determination 
of the amount and character of the industrial capital equipment unnecessary 
for the German peace economy and therefore available for reparation shall be 
made by the Control Council under policies fixed by the Allied Commission on 
Reparations, with the participation of France, subject to the final approval of 
the zone commander in the zone from which the equipment is to be removed. 


Prior to the fixing of the total amount of equipment subject to removal, 
advance deliveries shall be made in respect to such equipment as will be deter- 
mined to be eligible for delivery in accordance with the procedure set forth in 
the last sentence of Paragraph 6. 


The Soviet Government renounces all claims in respect of reparations to 
shares of German enterprises which are located in the W estern Zones of Ger- 
many as well as to German foreign assets in all countries except those specified 
in Paragraph 9 below. 


The Governments of the United Kingdom and United States of America 
renounce all claims in respect of reparations to shares of German enterprises 
which are located in the Eastern zone of occupation in Germany, as well as to 
German foreign assets in Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Rumania and eastern 


The Soviet Government makes no claims to gold captured by the Allied 
troops in Germany. 




A. The following principles for the distribution of the German Navy were 

1. The total strength of the German surface navy, excluding ships sunk 
and those taken over from Allied nations, but including ships under construc- 
tion or repair, shall be divided equally among the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics, United Kingdom and United States of America. 

2. Ships under construction or repair mean those ships whose construction 
or repair may be completed within three to six months, according to the type 
of ship. Whether such ships under construction or repair shall be complete or 
repaired shall be determined by the technical commission appointed by the three 
powers and referred to below, subject to the principle that their completion or 
repair must be achieved within the time limits above provided, without any 
increase of skilled employment in the German shipyards and without permitting 
the reopening of any German shipbuilding or connected industries. Comple- 
tion date means the date when a ship is able to go out on its first trip, or, 
under peacetime standards would refer to the customery date of delivery by 
shipyard to the government 

3. The larger part of the German submarine fleet shall be sunk. Not more 
than thirty submarines shall be preserved and divided equally between the 
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom and United States of 
America for experimental and technical purposes. 

4. All stocks of armament, ammunition and supplies of the German Navy 
appertaining to the vessels transferred pursuant to Paragraphs 1 and 3 hereof 
shall be handed over to the respective powers receiving such ships. 

5. The three Governments agree to constitute a tripartite naval commis- 
sion comprising two representatives for each Government, accompanied by the 
requisite staff, to submit agreed recommendations to the three Governments 
for the allocation of specific German warships and handle other detailed 
matters anting out of the agreement between the three Governments regard- 
ing the German fleet. The commission will hold its first meeting not later than 
15 August, >945* “I Berlin, which shall be its headquarters. Each delegation 
on the commission will have the right on the basis of reciprocity to inspect Ger- 
man warships wherever they may be located. 

6. The three Governments agreed that transfers, including those of ships 
under construction and repair, shall be completed as soon as possible, but not 
later than 15 February 1946. The commission will submit fortnightly re- 
ports, including proposals for the progressive allocation of the vessels when 
agreed by the commission, 

B. The following -principles for the distribution of the German merchant 
marine were agreed: 

1. The German merchant marine, surrendered to the three powers and 
wherever located, shall be divided equally among the Union of Soviet Socialist 



Republics, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The 
actual transfers of the ships to the respective countries shall take place as soon as 
practicable after the end of the war against Japan. The United Kingdom and 
the United States Will provide out of their shares of the surrendered German 
merchant ships appropriate amounts for other allied states whose merchant 
marines have suffered heavy losses in the common cause against Germany, 
except that the Soviet Union shall provide out of its share for Poland. 

2. The allocation, manning and operation of these ships during the Japanese 
war period shall fall under the cognizance and authority of the combined ship- 
ping adjustment board and the United Maritime Authority. 

3. While actual transfer of the ships shall be delayed until after the end 
of the war with Japan, a tripartite shipping commission shall inventory and 
value all available ships and recommend a specific distribution in accordance 
with Paragraph I. 

4. German inland and coastal ships determined to be necessary to the main- 
tenance of the basic German peace economy by the Allied Control Council of 
Germany shall not be included in the shipping pool thus divided among the 
three powers. 

5. The three Governments agree to constitute a tripartite merchant marine 
commission comprising two representatives for each Government, accom- 
panied by the requisite staff, to submit agreed recommendations to the three 
Governments for the allocation of specific German merchant ships and to 
handle other detailed matters arising out of the agreement between the three 
Governments regarding the German merchant ships. The commission will hold 
its first meeting not later than September I, 1945 in Berlin, which shall be 
its headquarters. Each delegation on the commission will have the right on 
the basis of reciprocity to inspect the German merchant ships wherever they 
may be located. 


The conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government to the effect 
that, pending the final determination of territorial questions at the peace settle- 
ment, the section of the western frontier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Re- 
publics which is adjacent to the Baltic Sea should pass from a point on the 
eastern shore of the Bay of Danzig to the east, north of Braunsberg-Goldap, 
to the meeting point of the frontiers of Lithuania, the Polish Republic and East 

The conference has agreed in principle to the proposal of the Soviet Govern- 
ment concerning the ultimate transfer to the Soviet Union of the City of 
Koenigsberg and the area adjacent to it as described above, subject to expert 
examination of the actual frontier. 

The President of the United States and the British Prime Minister have 
declared that they will support the proposal of the conference at the forth- 
coming peace set dement. 




The three Governments have taken note of the discussions which hive 
been proceeding in recent weeks in London between British, United States, 
Soviet and French representatives with a view to reaching agreement on the 
methods of trial of these major war criminals whose crimes under the Moscow 
declaration of October, 1943, have no particular geographical localization. The 
three Governments reaffirm their intention to bring these criminals to swift 
and sure justice. They hope that the negotiations in London will result in 
speedy agreement being reached for this purpose, and they regard it as a 
matter of great importance that the trial of these major criminals should begin 
at the earliest posable date. The first list of defendants will be published before 
1 September. 


The conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government on the 
extension of the authority of the Austrian Provisional Government to all of 
Austria. The three Governments agreed that they were prepared to examine 
this question after the entry of the British and American forces into the City of 

It was agreed that reparations should not be exacted from Austria. 


A. Declaration 

We have taken note with pleasure of the agreement reached among repre- 
sentative Poles from Poland and abroad which has made possible the forma- 
tion, in accordance with the decisions reached at the Crimea Conference, of 
a Polish Provisional Government of National Unity recognized by the three 
powers. The establishment by the British and United States Governments of 
diplomatic relations with the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity 
has resulted in the withdrawal of their recognition from the former Polish 
Government in London, which no longer exists. 

The British and United Slates Governments have taken measures to pro- 
tect the interest of the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity as 
the recognized Government of the Polish Sute in the property belonging to 
the Polish State located in their territories and under their control whatever 
the form of this property may be. They have further taken measures to prevent 
alienation to third parries of such property. All proper fatalities will be given to 
the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity for the exercise of the 
ordinary legal remedies for the recovery of any property belonging to the 
Polish State which may have been wrongfully alienated. 

The three powers are anxious to assist the Polish Provisional Government of 
National Unity in facilitating the return to Poland as soon as practicable of 
all Poles abroad who wish to go, including members of the Polish armed forces 

1 348 3 


and the merchant marine. They expect that those Poles who return home shall 
be accorded personal and property rights on the same basis as all Polish citizens. 

The three powers note that the Polish Provisional Government of National 
Unity, in accordance with the decisions of the Crimea Conference, has agreed 
to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis 
of universal suffrage and secret ballot, in which all democratic and and-Nazi 
parties shall have the right to take part and to put forward candidates, and that 
representatives of the Allied press shall enjoy full freedom to report to the 
world upon developments in Poland before and during the elections. 

In conformity with the agreement on Poland reached at the Crimea Con- 
ference, the three heads of Government have sought the opinion of the Polish 
Provisional Government of National Unity in regard to the accession of terri- 
tory in the north and west which Poland should receive. The President of the 
National Council of Poland and members of the Polish Provisional Govern- 
ment of National Unity have been received at the conference and have fully 
presented their views. The three heads of Government reaffirm their opinion 
that the final delimitation of the Western frontier of Poland should await the 
peace settlement. 

The three heads of government agree that, pending the final determination 
of Poland’s western frontier, the former German territories east of a line 
running from the Baltic Sea immediately west of Swinemuende, and thence 
along the Oder River to the confluence of the Western Neisse River and 
along the Western Neisse to the Czechoslovak frontier, including that portion 
of East Prussia not placed under the administration of the Union of Soviet 
Socialist Republics in accordance with the understanding reached at this con- 
ference and including the area of the former Free City of Danzig, shall be 
under the administration of the Polish state and for such purposes should not be 
considered as part of the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany. 

The three Governments consider it desirable that the present anomalous 
position of Italy, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary and Rumania should be ter- 
minated by the conclusion of peace treaties. They trust that the other interested 
Allied Governments will share these views. 

For their part, the three Governments have included the preparation for a 
peace treaty for Italy as the first among the immediate important tasks to be 
undertaken by the new Council of Foreign Ministers, Italy was the first of 
the Axis powers to break with Germany, to whose defeat she has made a mate- 
rial contribution, and has now joined with the Allies in the struggle against 
Japan. Italy has freed herself from the Fascist regime and is making good 
progress toward re-establishment of a democratic government and institutions. 
The conclusion of such a peace treaty with a recognized and democratic Italian 
Government will make it possible for the three Governments to fulfil! their 
desire to support an application from Italy for membership of the United Na- 

[ 349 ] 


The three Governments have also charged the Council of Foreign Ministers 
with the task of preparing peace treaties for Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary an 
Rumania. The conclusion of peace treaties with recognized democratic govern- 
ments in these states will also enable the three Governments to support applica- 
tions from them for membership of the United Nations. The three Govern- 
ments agree to examine each separately in the near future, in the light of the 
conditions then prevailing, the establishment of diplomatic relations with r in- 
land, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary to the extent possible prior to the con- 
clusion of peace treaties with those countries. 

The three Governments have no doubt that in view of the changed condi- 
tions lesuYong It pm tine termination *Aie w» ee.pce.v.v.'j.'ixes. nf. 

the Allied press will enjoy full freedom to report to the world upon develop- 
ments in Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. 

As regards the admission of other states into the United Nations Organiza- 
tion, Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations declares that: 

“l. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving 
states who accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the 
judgment of the organization, are able and willing to carry out these obliga- 

“2. The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations 
will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommenda- 
tion of the Security Council.” 

The three Governments, so far as they are concerned, will support applica- 
tions for membership from those states which have remained neutral during 
the war and which fulfill the qualifications set out above. 

The three Governments feel bound, however, to make it clear that they, 
for their part, would not favor any application for membership put forward by 
the present Spanish Government, which, having been founded with the sup- 
port of the Axis powers, does not, in view of its origins, its nature, its record 
and its close association with the aggressor states, possess the qualifications 
necessary to justify such membership. 

The conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government on the 
question of trusteeship territories as defined in the decision of the Crimea Con- 
ference and in the Charter of the United Nations Organization. 

After an exchange of views on this question, it was decided that the disposi- 
tion of any former Italian colonial territories was one to be decided in connec- 
tion with the preparation of a peace treaty for Italy and that the question of 
Italian colonial territory would be considered by the September Council of 
Ministers of Foreign Affairs. 

The three Governments took note that the Soviet representatives on the 
Allied Control Commissions in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary have com- 

1 3JO 3 


municated to their United Kingdom and United States colleagues proposals 
for improving the work of the Control Commissions, now that hostilities in 
Europe have ceased. 

The three Governments agreed that the revision of the procedures of the 
Allied Control Commissions in these countries would now be undertaken, 
taking into account the interests and responsibilities of the three Governments 
which together presented the terms of armistice to the respective countries, and 
accepting as a basis, in respect of all three countries, the Soviet Government’s 
proposals for Hungary as annexed hereto (Annex I). 


The three Governments, having considered the question in all its aspects, 
recognize that the transfer to Germany of German populations, or elements 
thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary will have to be 
undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in 
an orderly and humane manner. 

Since the influx of a large number of Germans into Germany would increase 
the burden already resting on the occupying authorities, they consider that the 
Control Council in Germany should in the first instance examine the problem, 
with special regard to the question of the equitable distribution of these Ger- 
mans among the several zones of occupation. They are accordingly instructing 
their respective representatives on the Control Council to report to their Gov- 
ernments as soon as possible the extent to which such persons have already 
entered Germany from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary and to submit an 
estimate of the time and rate at which further transfers could be carried out, 
having regard to the present situation in Germany. 

The Czechoslovak Government, the Polish Provisional Government and 
the Control Council in Hungary are at the same time being informed of the 
above and are being requested meanwhile to suspend further expulsions pend- 
ing an examination by the Governments concerned of the report from their 
representatives on the Control Council. 


The conference agreed to set up two bilateral commissions of experts, one 
to be composed of United Kingdom and Soviet members, and one to be com- 
posed of United States and Soviet members, to investigate the facts and examine 
the documents, as a basis for the settlement of questions arising from the re- 
moval of oil equipment in Rumania. It was further agreed that these experts 
shall begin their work within ten days, on the spot. 


It was agreed that Allied troops should be withdrawn immediately from 
Teheran and that further stages of the withdrawal of troops from ban should 
be considered at the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in 
London in September, 1945. 

tan j 



A proposal by the Soviet Government was examined and the following de- 
cisions were reached: 

Having examined the question of the Zone of Tangier, the three Govern- 
ments have agreed that this zone, which includes the City of Tangier and the 
area adjacent to it, in view of its special strategic importance, shall remain 

The question of Tangier will be discussed in the near future at a meeting 
in Paris of representatives of the Governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France. 


The three Governments recognize that the convention concluded at Mon- 
treux should be revised as failing to meet present-day conditions. 

It was agreed that as the next step the matter should be the subject of direct 
conversations between each of the three Governments and the Turkish Govern- 


The conference considered a proposal of the United States delegation on 
this subject and agreed to refer it for consideration to the forthcoming meeting 
of the Council of Foreign Ministers in London. 

The British and United States delegations to the conference informed the 
Soviet delegation of the desire of the British and United States Governments 
to reconvene the European Inland Transport Conference and stated that they 
would welcome assurance that the Soviet Government would participate in the 
work of the reconvened conference. The Soviet Government agreed that it 
would participate in this conference. 

The three Governments agreed that each would send a directive to its rep- 
resentative on the Control Council for Germany informing him of all decisions 
of the conference affecting matters within the scope of his duties. 



The proposal (Annex II) presented by the United States delegation was 
accepted in principle by the conference, but the drafting of an agreement on 
the matter was left to be worked out through diplomatic channels. 


During the conference there were meetings between the Chiefs of Staff of 
the three Governments on military matters of common interest. 


Text of a letter transmitted on July 12 to the representatives of the United 
States and United Kingdom Governments on the Allied Control Commission 
in Hungary. 

“In view of the changed situation in connection with the termination of the 
war against Germany, the Soviet Government finds it necessary to establish the 
following order of work for the Allied Control Commission in Hungary. 

“1. During the period up to the conclusion of peace with Hungary the 
president (or vice president) of the ACC will regularly call conferences with 
the British and American representatives for the purpose of discussing the most 
important questions relating to the work of the ACC. The conferences will be 
called once in ten days, or more frequently in case of need. 

“Directives of the ACC on questions of principle will be issued to the 
Hungarian authorities by the president of the Allied Control Commission after 
agreement on these directives with the English and American representatives. 

"2. The British and American representatives in the ACC will take part in 
general conferences of heads of divisions and delegates of the ACC, convoked 
by the president of the ACC, which meetings will be regular in nature. The 
British and American representatives will also participate personally or through 
their representatives in appropriate instances in mixed commissions created by 
the president of the ACC for questions connected with the execution by the 
ACC of its functions. 

“3. Free movement by the American and British representatives in the 
country will be permitted provided that the ACC is previously informed of the 
rime and route of the journeys. 

“4. All questions connected with permission for the entrance and exit of 
members of the staff of the British and American representatives in Hungary 
will be decided on the spot by the president of the ACC within a rime limit of 
not more than one week. 

“5. The bringing in and sending out by plane of mail, cargoes and diplo- 
matic couriers will be carried out by the British and American representatives 
on the ACC under arrangements and within time limits established by the 
ACC, or in special cases by previous coordination with the president of the 



“I consider it necessary to add to the above that in all other points the 
existing statutes regarding the ACC in Hungary, which was confirmed on 
January 20, 1945, shall remain in force in the future.” 


Use of Allied property for satellite reparations or “war trophies.” 

1. The burden of reparation and “war trophies” should not fall on Allied 

2. Capital equipment. We object to the removal of such Allied property 
as reparations, “war trophies” or under any other guise. Loss would accrue to 
Allied nationals as a result of destruction of plants and the consequent loss of 
markets and trading connections. Seizure of Allied property makes impossible 
the fulfillment by the satellite of its obligation under the armistice to restore 
intact the rights and interests of the Allied nations and their nationals. 

The United States looks to the other occupying powers for the return of 
any equipment already removed and the cessation of removals. Where such 
equipment will not or cannot be returned, the United States will demand of 
the satellite adequate, effective and prompt compensation to American nationals 
and that such compensation have priority equal to that of the reparations pay- 

These principles apply to all property wholly or substantially owned by 
Allied nationals. In the event of removals of property in which the American 
as well as the entire Allied interest is less than substantial, the United States 
expects adequate, effective and prompt compensation. 

3. Current production. While the United States does not oppose reparation 
out of current production of Allied investments, the satellite must provide 
immediate and adequate compensation to the Allied nationals including sufficient 
foreign exchange or products so that they can recover reasonable foreign cur- 
rency expenditures and transfer a reasonable return on their investment. Such 
compensation must also have equal priority with reparations. 

We deem it essential that the satellites not conclude treaties, agreements or 
arrangements which deny to Allied nationals access, on equal terms, to their 
trade, raw materials and industry; and appropriately modify any existing ar- 
rangements which may have that effect. 

L 354-1 

Main Sources Cited 

Anders, Lt. General Wladyslaw, C.B., An Army in Exile: The Story of 
the Second Polish Corfs ( 1 949) 

Balfour, Michael, see Royal Institute of International Affairs 
Bryant, Sir Arthur, Triumph in the West (1959) 

Bundy, Harvey H., “Remembered Words,” in Atlantic Monthly (March 

I9S7 > 

Butcher, Harry C., My Three Years with Eisenhower, The Personal Diary 
of Captain Harry C. Butcher, USNR, Naval Aide to General Eisenhower, 
J942 to 1945 (1946) 

Byrnes, James F., All in One Lifetime (1958) 

Churchill, Winston S., The Second World W or, vol. 6, Triumph and Tragedy 

Clay, Lucius D., Decision in Germany (1950) 

Craven and Cate, see U.S., Air Force 

Davison, W. Phillips, The Berlin Blockade: A Study in Cold War Politics 


de Gaulle, Charles, Memoiret de Guerre., vol. Ill, Le Salut ( *959) 
Doenitz, Admiral Karl, Memoirs: Ten Years and Twenty Days, tr. by R. 

H. Stevens in collaboration with David Woodward (1959) 

Dulles, John Foster, War or Peace (1950) 

Fet's, Herbert, The China Tangle: The American Effort in China from Pearl 
Harbor to the Marshall Mission ( 1 953) 

Feis, Herbert, Churchill-Rootevelt-Stalin: The War They Waged and the 
Peace They Sought (1957) 

Forrestal, James, The Forrcstal Diaries, ed. by Walter MiUis with the col- 
laboration of E. S. Duffield (1951) 

Gardner, Richard N., Sterling-DoUar Diplomacy ( 1 95^) 

Grew, Joseph C., Turbulent Era, A Diplomatic Record of Forty Years, 
1904-1945, by Walter Johnson, assisted by Nancy Harvison Hooker 


Halifax, The Ear! of. Fulness of Days (1957) 

Hammond, Paul Y., The Origins of American Occupation Policy for Ger- 
many, written under the auspices of the Twentieth Century Fund (manu- 

Harris, C. R. S., see U.K., Military Series 

Herodotus, Works, English translation by Alfred Dents Godley (1921—24) 
HoJborn, Ha jo, American Military Government, Its Organization and Policies 


Kirk, George, see Royal Institute of International Affairs 
Leahy, Fleet Admiral William D., / Was There: The Personal Story of the 
Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, Based on his Notes 
and Diaries Made at the Time (l95°) 

McNeill, W. H., see Royal Institute of International Affairs 
Mikolajczyk, Stanislaw, The Pattern of Soviet Domination (1948) 



Montgomery of Alamein, Field-Marshal The Viscount, K.G., Memoirs 

Moriwn, Elring E., biography of Secretary of War Sdmson (Manuscript) 
Mosely, Philip, “The Occupation of Germany,” in Foreign Affairs (July 
* 95 °) 

Penrose, Ernest Francis, Economic Planning for the Peace (( 953 ) 

Potsdam Papers, tee U.S., Department of State 

Ratchford, B. U., and William D. Ross, Berlin Reparations Assignment 

Roya? Institute of International Affairs, Survey of International Affairs Spjp- 
1946, ed. by Arnold Toynbee and Frank T. Ashton-Gwatkin: The Middle 
East and the War, by George Kirk (195a); America, Britain and Russia, 
Their Cooperation and Conflict, 1941-1946, by William Hardy McNeill 
( * 953 ) 5 Four-Power Control in Germany and Austria , ip 4 S~ 4 ^> ty 
Michael Balfour (1956) 

Rozek, Edward J., Allied Wartime Diplomacy: A Pattern in Poland (1958) 
Russell, Ruth B., A History of the United Nations Charter, The Role of the 
United States 1940-Z945 (1958) 

Salisbury, Harrison, Russia on the Way (1946) 

Sherwood, Robert E., Roosevelt and Hopkins, An Intimate History (1948) 
Smyth, Henry De Wolfe, Atomic Energy for Military Purposes ; the Official 
Report on the Development of the Atomic Bomb under the Auspices of the 
United States Government, 1940-194 5 (1945) 

Snell, John L., Wartime Origins 0} the East-West Dilemma over Germany 

(* 959 ) 

Stalin Correspondence, see U.S.S.R., Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
Strang, William, Lord Strang, Home and Abroad, Canadian ed. (1956) 
Triumph and Tragedy, see Churchill 

Truman, Harry S., Memoirs , vol. I, Year of Decisions (1955) 

U.K., Military Series, History of the Second World War: Civil Affairs and 
Military Government, vol. 3, Allied Military Administration of Italy, J 943 ~ 
* 945 t by Charles Reginald Schiller Harris (1957) 

U.N., Information Organization, Documents on United Nations Conference 
on International Organization ( *945 — 54 ) 

U.S., Air Force, Historical Division of Research Studies, The Army Air Forces 
in World War II: vol. 5, The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki, June 
1944 to August 1945, ed. by Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate 
C 1 9 S 3 ) 

U.S., Congress, Report of Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Soviet Atomic 
Espionage (195 1 ) 

U.S., 79th Congress, First Session, Hearings before the Committee on Foreign 
Relations, United States Senate, on H.R. 2013 (Lend-Lease) March 28 
to April 4, 1945 

U.S., Department of State, European and British Commonwealth Series 5 •» 
Publication 67 5 7 > The Soviet Note on Berlin: An Analysis (released Jan- 
uary 1959) 

1356 ] 


U-S., Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplo- 
matic Papers, Publication 6199, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 
*945 (1955) 

U.S., Department of State, Potsdam Papers: collection of papers and documents 
concerning the Potsdam conference, assembled by the State Department 
for publication 

U.S., Department of State, Publication 3023, Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939— 
1941: Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Office, ed. by 
Raymond James Sontag and James Stuart Beddie (1948) 

U.S.S.R., Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Correspondence Between the Chair- 
man of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R. and the Presidents of the 
U.S.A. and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain during the Great Patriotic 
War of 1941—1945, Foreign Languages Publishing House (Moscow, 
1957); this work is referred to throughout the present book as Stalin Cor- 

Vandenberg, Arthur H., The Private Papers of Senator Vandenbcrg, ed. by 
Arthur H. Vandenberg, Jr., with the collaboration of Joe Alex Morris 


Wilcox, Francis Orlando, “The United Nations: Peace and Security, in 
American Political Science Review, vol. 49, no. 5 (October 1945) 

Y ear of Decisions , see T rum an 

[ 357 ] 


Alanbrooke, Field-Marshal Lord, tjt 

Alexander, Sir Harold, British Field-Mar- 
shal, surrender of German forces to, 9, 
ll, 1 44 1 and the Venexia Giulia situa- 
tion, 40-4 St 47 > 4*1 4 S**i 49 “I •» >* 9 « 
130, ijx, 144, 185, it;, 180-183, 
308n.| and Polish forces in his com- 
mand, njn., 13 ij summoned to Pots- 
dam, 174-173 

Allen, George V., American diplomat, 

Allied Military Government in Italy 
(AMG), 40, 4 S- 47 » 4 *i 30 . J«» ** 9 t 
*30, *3*) 

Anders, Wladjslaw, Polish General, X04, 
ao4n., 116, 1170., non. 

Anderson, Sir John, Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, 19 

Antonov, Alexei E., General, First Deputy 
Chief of Staff, Soviet Army, 14, 16, tl, 
10, 146 

Argentina, admission into the United Na- 
tions of, 89, 99| invitation to San Fran- 
cisco Conference, 90 

Armour, Norman, U.S. Ambassador to 
Spain, 311 

Arnold, H. H., Commanding General of 
U.S. Army Air Forces, 50, 164m 

Atomic bomb, (S-i) (T.A.), Interim 

Committee on, *0, <8, 17a, 173, 1740., 
1763 Hopkins’ knowledge of, 973 Har- 
riman’s knowledge of, 973 1393 

Churchiil-Koosevelt Hyde Park agree- 
ment about, 1713 first explosion at Ala- 
mogordo of, 143-171 s question of tell- 
ing USSR about, 173-17*1 future con- 
trol of, r 73 ( use against Japanese of, 
*74, 179, >*° 

Attlee, Clement, Deputy Prime Minister, 
later Prime Minister of Great Britain, 
161, a 1 9, ill, ajj, 134 1 and Polish 
frontiers at Potsdam, 139-147, 31*3 

Austria, Control Council for, 74-76, 
1X30.3 occupation aones in, <3-67, 143 , 
144, 149, 1503 French occupition zone 
in, 1303 Provisional Government of, 68, 
49, 178, 1793 American and British 
policy toward, 1743 reparations from, 

Bainbridge, Professor Kenneth, 167 
Berlin, sector* of, tj8, 141, * 44 , *4*3 

agreements for joint administration of, 
141 3 question of access to, 143-1493 
visit of American and British missions to, 
144, 143 3 entry of American troops into, 
* 44 , *451 Kommandatura for, 1333 
supplies for, 14I-149 
Bernadottr, Count Folke, head of Swedish 
Red Cross, 8, 9 

Bevin, Ernest, British Secretary of State 
for Foreign Affairs, 119, 111, 133, 134, 
139, 161-167, *71, 187, 31s, 335 
Beynet, Paul, French General, 133 
Bidault, Georges, French Foreign Minis- 
ter, 130, 131, I 35 i.» 3 « n > 3 ' 3 -J*J 
Bierut, Boleslaw, President Polish National 
Council, later President Polish Provi- 
sional Government, loin., 107, 108, 
aoln., 109m, 110-114, , **5, 

119, 130, ijon., 131, 134, 161, 16S 
Blumentritt, Genenl Gunther von, 10 
Bohlen, Charles E., American diplomat, 
San., loan, 1050., nan., is*, 177, 

Bonomi, Ivanoe, Italian Premier, 46 
Bulgaria, 61-64, 109, 18*3 peace treaty 
for, 181-184, * 94 , *971 Control Com- 
mission in, 191, 19m., 191, 1933 super- 
vision of elections in, *98-199, 489 
Bundy, Harvey H., Assistant to Secretary 
of War, 17411., 173 
Bush, Dr. Vannevar, 170, 1740. 

Byrnes, James F., Secretary of State, 783 
selected as Secretary of State, <13 1333 
preparation for Potsdam by, i 4 o, 1613 
and news of atomic bomb test, 164, 

1640., 171, 1743 and informing Stalin 
about atomic bomb, ijj— 1 783 and pro- 
posal for peace treaties and conference, 
i*jl and proposal* about Italy, 1 90, 
194-197, 1970.3 and satellite states of 
Eastern Europe, 1 95-) 991 and Franco 
Spain, 1013 and discussion of Polish 
political affairs at Potsdam, 116-1113 
and discussion of Polish frontiers at 
Potsdam, 111-1JJ, iiyn.) 14** * 43 , 
and German economic questions at Pots- 
dam, 1503 and German reparations at 
Potsdam, 15 4-1 38 j “package deal” pro- 
posed at Potsdam by, 139-1673 and 
Austrian reparations, 1773 and supervi- 
sion of Greek elections, 187-189, *880.3 
1970 3 and Italian colonies, 3070., 

3080., 3093 explanation to Bidault 
about Potsdam decisions, 3 1 3-3 ry 

1 359 J 


Cadogan, Sir Alexander, jj, 170, 177 
Caffery, Jefferson, U.S. Ambassador to 
France, 119-130, ij< 

Chadwick, Sir James, 17411. 

Chapultepec Conference, 89, 90 
Chernere, French General, 274 
Cher well, Lord, 17 j 

Chiang Kai-shek, Generalissimo, 79, ill— 
114, ufi, 177 

Chiefs of Staff, British, 19, 30, 41, 45, 5 6, 
76, (1, 161, <71, 1(7, 331 
Chiefs of Staff, Combined, 9, 13, 14, 19, 
40-46, 4*1 i*9. »44. 177* }»*. 1J°» 33 1. 

Chiefs of Staff, U.S., 7, 19, 20, it, 41, 4a, 
4J, 5°. S«“-> 6j, 74, 77i 7*. i3«» ***» 
Hh »4i, IJJ, >S7» »«*> 164°-, >*7t 
itt, 136, 197. 3»*. 31«» 333. 334 

China, relations with Soviet Union, 99, 

1 11-1141 place 00 Council of Foreign 
Ministers, its, 183 

Churchill, Winston Spencer, Prime Minis- 
ter of Great Britain, and German forces 
in Holland, 6) and Himmler offer of 
surrender, 9 j and announcement of Ger- 
man surrender, 16, 175 and advance into 
Czechoslovakia, 19, 10 1 and termination 
of Lend-Lease, 19, 30, 330-331} and 
Yalta agreement about Poland, 31-34} 
and Polish frontiers, 31-33} and forma- 
tion of new Polish government, 34-35, 
10S} admission of Warsaw Provisional 
Government to San Francisco Confer- 
ence, 37, 38} and Tito, 40 } and Venezia 
Giulia, 40— j i, 280-283 ; and directives 
about policy in Germany, 57, jt} and 
German reparations, 59; ind satellite 
states in Eastern Europe, <3-64, iSI- 
1991 and allied mission to Vienna, 66, 
67, 691 and Austrian Provisional Gov- 
ernment, 61, 69} and ideas about deal- 
ing with Soviet Union, 73, 78, 79, 214- 
«*7. 1J»; and withdrawal into zones in 
Germany, 74-77, 140-144, and 

date and place for Potsdam Conference. 

Sa, 83, 139, 140} and Hopkins 1 mission 
to Stalin, 83, 84 1 and the San Francisco 
Conference, 86} and voting procedure in 
the U.N, 92 } and separate Tniman- 
Stalm meeting, 124-127, talks with 
Davies, 114-127} and de Gaulle, 11*- 
138} and crisis in Sjria and Lebanon, 
>3*-'3J» and invitation to Potsdam for 
de Gaulle, 138} and access to Berlin, 
'4*1 »nd entry of western forces into 
y«?- ‘49— SJO, s 7 4, and proposals 
for Potsdam discussio ns, i SJ , mood be- 

fore Potsdam, 159} Hyde Park agree- 
ment with Roosevelt about atomic bomb, 
1721 and test of atomic bomb, 171-180} 
and informing Stalin about atomic 
bomb, 175—178} proposal for peace 
treaties and conferences, 182—183} P* 0 " 
posals about Italy at Potsdam, 188-190, 
and Franco Spain at Potsdam, aoo-201 , 
view of Stalin-Hopkins accord on Po- 
land, 203} recognition of Polish Provi- 
sional Government of National Unity, 
214-2151 and discussion of Polish polit- 
ical affairs at Potsdam, 216-221, and 
discussion of Polish frontiers at Potsdam, 
121-134} and dismemberment of Ger- 
many, 236-239} and Potsdam proposals 
of political program for Germany, 141— 
2451 a nd German refugee problem at 
Potsdam, 170-171 } and recognition of 
Austrian Provisional Government at 
Potsdam, 178-179} and reform of Yu- 
goslav Government at Potsdam, 183- 
186} and revision of Montrcux Con- 
vention at Potsdam, 291 , and Soviet de- 
mands on Turkey at Potsdam, 295-1971 
and Truman’s proposal about interna- 
tional waterway at Potsdam, 297-301} 
and Iran at Potsdam, 304-306} and 
Italian colonies, 306-309} behavior and 
manner of, at Potsdam, 316-3191 de- 
parture from Potsdam of, 318} and im- 
pressions of, 3221 and division of Ger- 
man navy and merchant marine at Pots- 
dam, 113-336 

Clark, Mark, U.S. General, 146, 176, 


Clay, Lucius D., U.S. General, later Com- 
mander-in-Chief of American zone in 

2480., 266n. 

Clayton, William L., Assistant Secretary of 
State, 56m, 2 j?, *jj n . 

Cohen, Benjamin, State Department of- 
ncial, 161, I97n„ ajzn., 265m 
Combined Chiefs of Staff, ut Chiefs of 
Staff, Combined 

Commission of Three on Polish matters, 
34* 206, 107, 203— 1x5 
Conant, Dr. James .70 
Control Commission for Bulgaria, ut Rul- 

l* a tia. Control Commission for 
Control Commission for Italy, 1 
Control Commission for 
Control Commission for Romania, 
mania, Control Commission for 
Control Council for Austria, ttt 
Comrol Council for 

« Italy, 
1 ue Ro- 



Control Council for Germany, i‘i Ger- 
many , Control Council lor 
Crane, U.S. General, member of Control 
Commission for Bulgaria, 63 
Crimean Conference, ttt Yalta 
Crittenberger, VV, D., U.S. General, 130 
Crowley, Leo T., U.S. Foreign Economic 
Administrator, 17, 19, 190. 
Cunningham, Sir Andrew, British Ad- 

Curzon Line, 32, jzn. 

Czechoslovakia, entry into, 19-ao 

Damashinos, Archbishop, Regent of 
Greece, >t; 

Danzig, Free City of, 314, az40-, *60, 
a 6 In. 

Davies, Joseph E., farmer V.S. Ambassa- 
dor to Russia, Si, 85, 1 z; 1 mission to 
Churchill, >24-147, 1x83 report to 
Truman, 1261 presence at Potsdam, 1 6 1 
Deane, John R., Ceneral, Head of the U-S. 
Military Mission in Moscow, *6, 78, 79, 
144, 146 

Declaration on Liberated Europe, da, rj*, 
198, 1980., 189 

de Gaulle, Charles, General, 8 311., 1131 
and claims on German territory, 136- 
>37, 246-247, 314-31/1 and invitation 
to Potsdam, 128, 1381 and French 
troops in northwest Italy, 118-13x3 
ti90., 13m., i3in., IJ4Q-, 1350-1 and 
Syria and Lebanon, XJ3-135, 3063 “>d 
French zone in Germany, 135-1373 »od 
place on Reparations Committee, 1373 
and invitation to Washington, 128, 1383 
and agreements reached at Potsdam, 
1> J-J'5 

Deven, Jacob L., U.S. General, 12, r j 
Doenitz, Karl, German Grand Admiral, 9, 

Doyen, Paul, French General, 129, «3o, 
iji, 13 in. 

Dubrow, Elbridge, State Department offi- 
cial, aajn. 

Dulles, John Foster, Adviser at San Fran- 
cisco Conference, 91 

Dumbarton Oaks Conference, 87, 93, It8 
Dunn, James Clement, U.S. Assistant Sec- 
retary of State, 2130., szjn. 

East Prussia, 222, 224, 224°-, *J0°i 231, 
235, 260, 269, *99 

Eden, Anthony, British Secretary of State 
for Foreign Affairs, 73, 79 n n *4n-, 86, 
1*4, *37, *383 at Potsdam Conference, 

«*3i >86, >9/» 196, 198, 199, aoa, *17- 
119, *Jl, 233, 2330., Ijo, ljtf, 289, 
J04, 3 ojn^ 334 

Eisenhower, Dwight D., General, Supreme 
Commander of Allied Expeditionary 
Force, declaration regarding policy 
toward Germany, 3, 973 and German 
forces in Holland, 7, 83 and Himmler 
offer of surrender, 83 and surrender of 
German artniet in the west, io~*t j ad- 
vance into Czechoslovakia, 19, 203 di- 
rectives about policy in Germany to, 56, 
5 On., 573 and withdrawal into zones in 
Germany, 74-77, 141, 14211., 1433 and 
establishment of Control Council for 
Germany, 763 and French penetration 
of Italy, 1 30, 3313 and Four-Power 
Declaration on Germany, nn and entry 
of western forces into Berlin, >45 1 and 
access to Berlin, 146-1493 German di- 
rective to, 241, 2483 320, 328 
Ericson, U.S. General, 164m 
European Adusory Commission (EAC), 
work of, 65-67, 69, 137, 140, 146, 
146m, 149, 150, >83, 18311. 

Far East, Yalta agreement regarding, 39 
Farrell, Edelroiro, Argentine General and 
President, 89 

Farrell, Thomas F., U.S. Brigadier Gen- 
eral, 167-170 

Fig!, Leopold, Austrian political figure, 68 
Finland, diplomatic relations with, 109, 
1883 peace treaty with, 184 
Fiume, 39, 41, 43 

Foreign Ministers, Council of, 182-184, 


Forrestal, James, U.S. Secretary of the 
A’avy, 77, 78, 81, is, 84m, rt6, ij 7 n. 
Four-Power Declaration on defeat of Ger- 
many, 1403 signed, 1 41 
France, and claims on German territory, 
>36-137, *46-247, 314-3133 zone in 
Austria, 1303 share in peace treaty prep- 
arations, 1833 and the Levantine states, 
304-3063 and the Tangier question, 
309-31*3 and agreements reached at 
Potsdam, 313-3153 and appraisal of 
Potsdam agreements, 315 
Franco, Francisco, General, *oo-*o* 
Freyberg, Bernard Cyril, New Zealand 
General, 44 

Friedeburg, Hans Georg von, German Ad- 
miral, ion., isn., t*, 13 

Gerbrandy, Dr. Pieter, Ministcr-Presidcnt 
of Holland, 7 

[ 361 ] 


Gecouuy, collapse of, J'S, ii-*4» lur " 
render to Eisenhower at Rbeims, is, 824 
surrender to Soviet Union at Berlin, 17} 
zonal arrangements for, 51, 54, 56-57, 

65, 66, 74, 75, i4«, *44, aaj-***, *1*. 
*3*, 136, 239, *41-14!, *44-»4S, *+*l 
and French zone in, 13 Jt economic and 
social principles for control of, 52-55, 

60, 140, 141, 139, 246-1511 post-war 
conditions in, 53—544 political principles 
for control of, 56, 57, 139, 141-2454 
Reparation Commission for, 591 repara- 
tions from, 5S-61, 144, discussed at 
Potsdam, 114, SJ1-1J4, 153-1651 Con- 
trol Council for, conception of, 56, 57, 
74-77 , 159, establishment of, 76, 99, 
101, 137, 140-144, »4*n-» >*5", *4«“ 
141, 14411., first meeting of, i4in.i aai, 
*13, 114, 135, 14S4 Four-Powtr Decla- 
ration on defeat of Germany, 140, 1411 
“War Booty” (com, 144, 156-1571 
boundaries of, 211-113, 133-136, 160- 
163, *66-1671 question of dismember- 
ment of. 136-1394 Instrument of Sur- 
render for, 317-3294 refugee problem 
discussed at Potsdam, 165-2711 author’s 
comments on Potsdam agreements about, 
171-2734 navy and merchant marine, 

disposition of, 3l3 - 3l6| stipulations on 

standard of living for, 336 
Goebbels, Joseph, Chief of Nail propa- 
ganda, 115 

Gomulka, W., First Deputy Prime Minis- 
ter, Polish Provisional Government, 
204m, lot, 110, an, 219 
Grabski, Wladiilaw, member Polish Na- 
tional Council, lot 

Greece, political affairs of, 19*, 199, dis- 
cussed at Potsdam, *(7-290, tension 
with Yugoslavia, 186, 1S7 
Grew, Joseph C., Acting Secretary of State, 
ao, 17, 41, 42, 44m, 46, 50, son., y6n^ 
63, 78, 8o-8t, 83, 93, 93n., 114, si6, 

lit, 111-113, '1°. '31, »34, 

134”., 136, >37, Uon., 1 J5, 186, njn., 
*37 n t *88n., 193, 293a., 294, *940., 

Grom} to, Andrei A., Soviet Ambassador 
in VyuVington, 88, 95, 95a., 127, ti8, 
no, in, 3070., 310 

Groves, Leslie R., Commanding General, 
Manhattan Project, 164, 165, 1740., re- 
port of first bomb explosion at Alamo- 
gordo, 165-171, 179, 215 
Groza, Petro, Romanian politician, 191 
Gruenthcr, Alfred, U.S, General, 174 

Gusev, Feodor T., Soviet Ambassador to 
Great Britain, *37, 238 

Halifax, Earl of, British Ambassador to 
U.St lao, 157. 17 «. «74n. 

Harriman, W, Aterell, U.S. Ambassador 
to USSR, and Lend-Lease to _ Soviet 
Union, 26, 3294 and formation of 
new Polish Government, 34 _ 35 4 a(u * 
allied mitsions to Vienna, 66, <7; and 
ideas about dealing with Soviet Russia, 
78, 791 and Hopkins’ mission to Stalin, 
84, 854 presence during Ilopkins-Stalm 
talks, 97-1234 with Commission of 
Three on Poland, 105-107, 102-2141 
and Soviet intentions about China, us- 
ual >45, *61, 161, 181, 190, S9211. 
Harrison, George L., 163, 164, 171, i74 n - 
Himmler, Heinrich, Nazi Chief of S.S., 8, 


Hitler, Adolf, German Fuehrer, 3, 8, 9, 
51, 63, taj, 240 
Holland, plight of, 6-8 
Hopkins, Harry, American official and 
diplomat, friendship for Soviet Union, 
264 ideas about dealing with Soviet 
Union, 78, 79j mission to Stalin, 81, 83> 
844 talks with Stalin, 97, subjects dis- 
cussed: general review, 98-101, Con- 
trol Council for Germany, 99, tot. Pa- 
cific war, 99, 114, relations with China, 
99, admission of Argentina to San Fran- 
cisco Conference, 99-100, Lend-Lease, 
100-1 01, Poland, 101-109, Polish 
underground leaders, 108-109, Eastern 
European satellites, 109— no, Soviet in- 
tentions about China, 111-114, and 
Korea, 1154 and voting procedure *t 
the San Francisco Conference, 117—1224 
160, 161, 329, 330, 133 
Howe, Honorable C. D., Canadian Minis- 
ter of Munitions, 173 
Hull, Cordell, former U.S. Secretary of 
State, 62, 92 

Hungary, 6a, 64, 109, 1884 peace treaty 
for, 1 8 1, 183, 184, 194, 1974 Provi- 
sional National Government in, 1904 
and reparations, 190m, 1944 Russian 
control of economies in, 1944 supervi- 
sion of elections in, 198, 199 
Hurley, Patrick J., Ambassador to Chin*, 

Inonu, Ismet, General, President of Tur- 
k *r. *95 

Interim Committee, stt Atomic Bomb 


Iran, 301-304 

Ismay, Sir Hasting* Lionel, British Gen- 
eral, 74 

Is trim Peninsula, 3$, 40, 41, 44, 49, a Ji 
Italy, Government of, and dispute over 
Venezia Giulia, 39, 43-4$, 187-18*5 
Allied Military Government in, 40, 43- 
47, 4*, JO, Jt, «9> «1°» «J l » **•“ 
sSjS peace treaty for, 181-1*4; post- 
war treatment of, iJj, J id, 1*8-1901 
admission to UN. of, 117, 1 5S, 1 95— 
197, 202; Control Commission for, 1S7, 
tyo-ijt, and reparations, 19 j, 167* 
•upervision of elections in, 1991 dis- 
position of colonies in, 306-309 

Japanese peace feeltrs, 114, tty 

Jodi, Alfred, German Field Marshal, 13, 


Juin, Alphonse P., French Field Marshal, 

«10, 13* 

Keitel, Wilhelm, German Field Marshal, 
10, xt, t 7 

Kennan, George F., American diplomat, 
J6, J7. «7. aajn. 

K err, Archibald Clark, British Ambassa- 
dor to USSR, jt, 34, 66, *40, ioj, 
14 3, *03**04, 206-207, aro-aia, 214, 

Kcwelring, Albert, German Field Mar- 
shal, 11, i* 

Key, General, 1900. 

Kiel Canal, 29*0., 299 
King, Ernest J., Admiral, Commander-in- 
Chief U.S. Navy, 50, 1640. 

Kirk, Alexander, U.S. Ambassador to Italy, 
43, 2*jn^ join. 

Kistiakowsky, Professor George B, 167, 

Kolodziejtki, H., 20411. 

Kommandztura for Berlin, 223 
Koniev, Ivan S, Soviet General, 174, 273, 

Konigsberg, 224, 2140., 299, 30*, 314, 
34? . , 

Korea, trusteeship for, 113, 1 16 
Kowalski, VV., 2040. 

Krzyanowski, A-, zo+n. 

Konle Islands, 80, *1, 116, 1I0 
Kutrezeba, S,, 10411. 

Kyle, U.S. Colonel, 171 

Lane, Arthur, Ambassador to Poland, ioj 
Lawrence, Ur. E. O., 170 

Leahy, William D., U.S. Fleet Admiral, 
Chief of Staff to the President, 41, 440., 
*1, 113, tx6, 132, 134, 143, IJJ, l6o, 

Lend-Lease Aid, slash in, 16—30, 100, lot | 
American policies in regard to, 329-331 

List, Eugene, j 1 9 

Lloyd George, David, former British Prime 
Minister, jm. 

Lnbio, Isador, Paulry-Lubin Report on 
German reparations, 233m 

Macmillan, Harold, British diplomat, 43 

MacVeagh, Lincoln, U.S. Ambassador to 
Greece, 2*2 

Maisky, Ivan, Soviet member of Repara- 
tions Commission, ij; 

Makins, Roger, Counsellor of British Em- 
bassy in Washington, 137, «7«n. 

Marshall, George Catlin, General, U.S. 
Chief of Staff, and German surrender, 
7-91 J7. >?i 4'n-» 4*, 4*n-» ♦*» 44m, 
4*. 7*. *0, 9*, 131, S42, 143, t44> «4«, 
i6z, (640., 1630., 171, 173, I So, i to 

Matthews, H. Freeman, American diplo- 
mat, 34m, 440. 

McCIoy, John J., Assistant Secretary of 
War, *0, 131, 32* 

Middleton, Sir George, British diplomat, 

Mikolajczyk, Stanislaw, Prime Minister, 
Polish Government-in-Exile, later Dep- 
uty Prime Minister 0/ Polish Provisional 
Government, 34, 340., 106, to*, 2040., 
to;, 2030., 206, 2o6n., 207-209, 20911., 
ico, itz-213, 117, icy, nan., a lyo., 
130, 23011., 234, 161, 26* 

Mikoyan, Anastas I., Soviet Commissar 
of Foreign Trade, tom., 319 

Mine, Hilary, Polish Minister for In- 
dustry and Trade, 231 

Molotov, Vyacheslav, People's Commissar 
for Foreign Affsin, 31, 31, 37, 66, 
*40., (14, 125a., 190, 2S9, 291, 2920., 
319s talk with Truman, 351 at San 
Francisco Conference, 35-36, 60, *5, 
Jt-90, 92, 920., 9y, 137 j at Yalta, J*J 
with Hopkins at Moscow, 97, ioo, 

■ oin-, ioj, 107, dt| with Commission 
of Three, 104, 206, 2060., 207, 20*, 
110-ini and Control Council for Ger- 
man J, »40f at Potsdam, 161 , iti-iJj, 
I9»n-t »94. >95, 196-199, 21*, 2 JI, 
*34, *3S» *42« *43. *47. 14*, *50, *S7i 
261-264, 2 70-2 7 », tjj, ij 6, 307, J 22, 
J* 7» J*«» 3*9, 3S4-33J 



Montgomery, Sir Bernard, British Field- 
Marshal, surrender of German forces to, 
10, ii, nn. j and Germany, 57, 144, 
14 in, 

Montreux Convention (about Bosporus 
Straits and Dardanelles), 191, 19m., 

Morgan, Sir Frederick E., British General, 
46, 4<n., 28a, 281 

Morgan Line, for division of Venezia 
Giulia, 46, 180-283 

Morgenthau, Henry, Jr., Secretary of the 
Treasury, 19, j6n. 

Mosel;, Philip, deputy to Winant on Eu- 
ropean Advisory Commission, 146a. 

Murphy, Robert D., political adviser to 
Eisenhower, 1400., 142, 1420., 1490. 

Nazism, u* Germany 

Oppenheimex, J. Robert, Director, Los 
Alamos Laboratory, 167-170 
Osubka-Morawski, Eduard, Chairman of 
Polish Liberation Committee, later 
Prime Minister of Polish Provisional 
Government, 204a., 207, sot, 214, 222, 
22s, 129, 234 

Pacific war, Russian entry into, 99, 111, 
113-nj, 161, 172, 175, 179, 180 
Paget, General Sir Bernard, 133, 134 
Parks, Floyd A., General, 148 
Parri, Ferruccio, Italian resistance leader, 


Patton, George, U.S. General, 19, 50 
Pauley, Edwin, American member Allied 
Reparation Commission for Germany, 
6o > *51. *Sl n , 254, 2571k, aSSn., 336 
Pavlov, V. N, Russian interpreter, 177, 

Petrov, Soviet General, 274 
Phillips, William, former Under Secretary 
of State, 440. 

Poland, Soviet designs on, 4, 31-38! fron- 
tier. of, 31—34, 36, 37, 6,, IOJi JIOj 
discussed at Potsdam, 211-234, 259- 
26tj Yalta agreement on, 31, 34, 9 | f 
203 1 elections in, 31, 35, 108, 203, 209, 
V* ?“■ *>3. 2 it, 2191 Provi- 

sional Government of (Lublin and War- 
«w Governments), 3t, 31, 34-38, %6, 
89, 90, 103-105, 204, 204m, 212-213, 
*. .* **°. **J> 216, 129! rtcog- 

rntion of, 36, j7, 89, by Trnman and 
Churchill, 1.4-215! invitation to San 
Francisco Conference for, 37, 89, Lon- 

don Gov errnnent-in-Exile of, 32, 37, 
104, 106, 108, 217, arrest of under- 
ground leader* of, 37, 108, 109, dis- 
banding of, 220, 220a. | conditions in, 
34! Commission of Three on, 34, to6- 
107, 203-204, 206—208, 211; visit of 
Polish representatives to Commission of 
Three in Moscow, 204-2121 loan for, 
211, 213! and share in German repara- 
tions, 25 8! milit2ry losses of, 2690. 

Potsdam Conference, time chosen for, 83, 
139-140, 163 ! place selected (Babels- 
berg), 140, 150-1511 arrangements for, 
144, 1451 personnel at, 160-161 1 pro- 
posed agenda for, 155— 1571 called 
Terminal, 16 1, 181 \ effect of atomic 
bomb on, 163-165, 171—1803 subjects 
discussed: peace treaties, 181-184, Italy, 
iti-191, 195—197, 199, 202, Bulgaria, 
Hungary, Romania, Finland, 181-184, 
190-194, 197-199, Greece, 198, 199, 
286-290, Spain, 200-202, Poland, 216- 
234, Germany, 135-258, Yugoslavia, 
284-286, Turkey, 291-301, Blick Sea 
Straits, 291-301, Iran, 301-304, Syria 
and Lebanon, 304-306, Italian colonies, 
306-308, Tangier, 309-31 n Protocol 
of Proceedings, Text of, 338-354 

Refugees, German, problem discussed at 
Potsdam, 168-171 

Renner, Dr. Karl, Austrian socialist. Presi- 
dent Provisional Government, 68-69, 
a 7* — 279 

Reparation Commission for Germany, 59, 
6o > >17. *3J, *5J-*54. 254m j French 
place on, 137, i66n. 

Restitution from Germany, 256-257, 336- 

Romami, 62-64, 109, 1*8 ; Control Com- 
m.ssion in, 63, 19., 19m., 192, 192m, 
1971 peace treaty for, 181-184, 1945 
and reparations, 191-191, | 94 , Russian 
control of economy in, i 9 4j supervision 
of elections in, i 9 8, i 99> 289 
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, President of 
the United States, as a wartime leader, 
3! and friendship for Soviet Union, 26 j 
and Yalta agreement about Poland, 31- 
31. 105, an, 1301 and Polish frontiers, 
31-33! and formation of new Polish 
Government, 34-35} 19, tin., 89, 12m., 
*ii! on German reparations, 591 and 
Declaration on Liberated Europe, 6s j 
and zones in Austria, 65 ! ideas about an 

*7! and 



toting procedure in the U.N., 921 Hyde 
Park agreement with Churchill about 
atomic bomb, 17*1 and dismemberment 
of Germany, 236—239) and revision of 
Montreux Convention, 191 
Ruhr, French withe* in regard to, rjd, 
1360.) industrial district, 54, 559 pro- 
posal for, 235-236) removal of capital 
equipment from, 25;, 156, 26 1, 262 
Russell, Donald, State Department official, 
16 1 

Russia, tee Union of Soviet Socialist Re- 

Saar, French wishes in regard to, 136, 

San Francisco Conference, 25, *7, JJ, 36, 
37, 50, 60, 79, Si, S^n., S5, 87, 8711 , 
88-96, 99, 179, conclusion of, 117— 
1231 admission of Argentina to, 89-90 

Sarajoglu, S., Prime Minister of Turkey, 

Schjcrf, A, Austrian political figure, 68 

Schocnfeld, Arthur, American political 
representative in Hungary, 1900. 

Schoenfeld, Rudolf, American diplomat 
assigned to the Governments-in-Exsle in 
London, 106 

Srhulenburg, Friedrich W., Count von der, 
German Ambassador in Moscow, 192, 
a g an, 

Schuyler, Cortlandt, U.S, Genera], Amer- 
ican member Control Commission for 
Romania, 63 

Seyss-Inquart, Arthur von, German High 
Commissioner in Holland, 6, 7, 8 

SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied 
Expeditionary Force), 3, 10, 140., 77, 

Smith,' Walter Bedell, V.S. General, 14a, 
3**, 3*9 

Soong, T. V., Prime Minister of China, 
head of Chinese delegation to San Fran- 
cisco Conference, 79, 113, »«4» >«4n. 

Soviet High Command, 3, II, 22, 14—18, 
20, 36, 144, 150, 19m. 

Spain, relations with, 200-102 1 and re- 
gime for Tangier, 309—312 

Stalin, Josef V., Marshal of Union of So- 
viet Socialist Republics (USSR), 3) and 
announcement of German surrender, ,6, 
I7j and termination of Lend-Lease, 28, 
3*9. 33°1 Yalta agreement about Po- 
land, 3 1-34) »“d extension of Soviet ter- 
ritory westward, 321 and formation of 

new Polish Government, 34-33, 102- 
i*9) admission of Warsaw Provisional 
Government to San Francisco Confer- 
ence, 37, 38; and Venezia Giulia, 50, 51, 
280-283) and directives about policy in 
Germany, 58) on German reparations, 
39, 265) and allied missions to Vienna, 
66, 67, 69) and Austrian Provisional 
Government, 68, 69) and San Francisco 
Conference, 84, 85, 88) and voting pro- 
cedure in the U.N., 91 ) talks with Hop- 
kinr, 97, subjects discussed: 

general review, 98-101 1 Poland, 98) 
Control Council for Germany, 99, 
iai) Pacific war, 99, 114) relation* 
with China, 99) admission of Argen- 
tina to San Francisco Conference, 99- 
roo; Lend-Lease, too— ton Poland, 
102-109) Polish underground leaders, 

108— 109) Eastern European satellites, 

109— 210) and Soviet intention about 
China, in— 114) Korea, nj) 

and voting procedure at San Francisco, 
1 r 7-1 *2j and date for the Potidam 
Conference, ioi) and ideas about policy 
for Japan, 114-1151 and access to 
Berlin, 14 6) and entry of western 
forces into Vienna, 174-273) mood be- 
fore Potsdam, 159) informed by Tru- 
man about atomic bomb, 178) proposal 
for peace treaties and conference, its- 
184) propoials about Italy, 188-1901 
and eastern European satellite states, 
188-1971 and Franco, loo-aoi) and 
discussion of Polish political affairs at 
Potsdam, 116— aaij and discussions of 
Polish frontier* at Potsdam, 2x1—234, 
239-267) and dismemberment of Ger- 
many, 236-239) and Potsdam proposal 
of political program for Germany, 141- 
24J) 2nd proposed "package deal" at 
Potsdam, 263-267) and Austrian repa- 
rations, *77) and reform of Yugoslav 
Government, *83-286) and supervision 
of Greek elections, i88n.) and revision 
of Montreux Convention, 1911 and So- 
viet demands on Turkey, 293-297) and 
Truman’s proposal about international 
waterways, *97-301) and Iran, 304- 
306) and Italian colonies, 306-309) and 
Tangier question, jn) behavior and 
manner of, at Potsdam, 316-319) and 
division of German navy and merchant 
marine, 333-336 

Stanczyk, J., Polish political figure, 104m 
Stassen, Harold, 307m 



Stettlnlus, Edward R., Secretary of State, 
ag, JSi 77* 7*. 8l > 9°> S3* 9*> *•*» 

l}7. »SS» 16°* >*‘i 1 37 D -> 3°7“* 

Stimson, Henry Lewis, Secretary ot War, 
4», 4111., 4*, ♦*»-, 43* 44. **“•« 4*» 
56, 13-81* **» 83* 1, 3 ll -» J l6 « 'l»i 

ijo, 161, 1570.1 and atomic bomb, 
165-165, i6+n., 1650., 171-180, 1740. 
Stone, Donald C., American official, 140m 
Strang, William, Sir (later Lord), British 
representative on European Advisory 
Commission, 137, i37 n -, *38, 3*7* 3 1 * 
Subasic, Dr. Ivan, Prime Minister of Yu- 
goslav Government-In-Exile, xlo, aSj, 
ait, il6 

Sumer, Nurullah Esat, Acting Minister for 
Foreign Affairs, 294 

Susaikov, Soviet General, member of Ro- 
manian Control Commission, 19s 
Susloparoff, Ivan, Soviet General, ti, 14, 
ijl liaison officer at SHARP, 10 
Syria and Lebanon, 132-135, 304-306 
S-i, code name for atomic bomb project, 
»<3, 165, sij 

T.A., abbreviation lor Tube Alloys, code 
name for atomic bomb project, 171, ijs 
Tangier, regime for, 309-311 
Tedder, Air Marshal Lord, 17, 147 
Terminal, ire Potsdam Conference 
Tito (Josef Bros), Marshal, dispute over 
Venezia Giulia, 39-41, 44, 45. 47* 48, 
4»n., 49-51, *30, 131, 1**1 agreement 
with Alexander, 50-311 and Austria, 
47-491 63, 1231 settlement of Venezia 
Giulia, ita-ilj 

Tolbukin, Marshal Fyodor, 67, 18s 
Trieste, 19-41, 44~47* 49, 5°i >3t, slo, 

Truman, Harry S., President of the United 
States, and German forces in Holland, 
71 and Himmler offer of surrender, 9, 
and announcement of German surrender, 
16, 171 and termination of Lend-Lease, 
*7-30, 330-33*1 talk with Molotov 
about Poland, 351 admission Warsaw 
Provisional Government to San Fran- 
cisco Conference, 37, 3!) and Venezia 
Giulia, 40-31, 280-1831 and directives 
about policy in Germany, 56, 571 and 
eastern European satellite states, 63-64, 
109-110, *88-1991 and allied missions 
to Vienna, 66, 67, 691 and Austrian 
Provisional Government, 61, 691 ideas 
about dealing with Soviet Union, 73, 7!, 
79, ixsi and withdrawal into zones In 

Germany, 74-77, 140-1441 ln| f date 
and place for Potsdam Conference, 82, 
83, 139, 1401 and the San Francisco 
Conference, 83, 91, and address to the 
Conference, 1 22 1 and the atomic bomb, 
St) and Polish affairs, 1041 and voting 
procedure in the U.N., 117-1211 and 
wish for a separate meeting with Stalin, 
114-117) and de Gaulle, 128-138) and 
French penetration of Italy, 129-131) 
and crisis in Syria and Lebanon, 135) 
and invitation to Potsdam for de Gaulle, 
138) and access to Berlin, 14*1 “d 
entry of western forces into Vienna, 149- 
1505 mood before Potsdam, 159V Sep- 
arations for Potsdam, 159-160) 1621 
and test of atomic bomb, 161-180) in- 
forms Stalin of atomic bomb, 175-1781 
proposal for peace treaties and confer- 
ence, 182-1841 proposals about Italy, 
188-190) and Franco Spain, aoo-ioi) 
recognition of Polish Provisional Gov- 
ernment of National Unity, 214-225 » 
and discussion of Polish political affairs 
at Potsdam, si6-sai) and discussion of 
Polish frontiers at Potsdam, a*t-i34, 
259-168) and dismemberment of Ger- 
many, 238-239) and proposal at Pots- 
dam about Control Council for Ger- 
many, 24 s) and Potsdam proposals of 
political program for Germany, 141- 
24;) and reparations at Potsdam, 2 54m, 
31*1 on proposed “package deal” at 
Potsdam, 165-267) and German refugee 
problem at Potsdam, 270-271 1 and 
recognition of Austrian Provisional Gov- 
ernment, 278-279) and reform of Yugo- 
slav Government, 183-285) and Soviet 
demands on Turkey, 296-297) and pro- 
posal about international waterways, 
197-301) and Iran, 304-306) and 
Italian colonies, 306-309) behavior and 
manner of, at Potsdam, 316-319) im- 
pressions of experience at Potsdam, 32 tj 
and division of German navy and mer- 
chant marine, 313-336 
Turkey, issues with Soviet Union, 291— 
101, Treaty of Mutual Assistance with 
Britain, S39 

Union of Soviet Socialist Republic* 
(USSR), 4, j, 7-8, ,j, and Lend- 

Lease aid, 16-30, 1 00-1 01 ) and Poland, 
34-3*. 2 n—234 1 and Tito, 41, and 
Germany, 56, 5 1, s 44 , in d Bulgaria, 
*1-64) and Hungary, 62-645 and Ro- 
mania, 6a-*4l and Austria, 65-69, 



149-1 jo ( U.S. urged to reconsider 
policy toward, 79-81 1 entry into Pacific 
war, m, 113, 114, nj, 139, 1613 and 
terms for treaty with Turkey, *91-301 

United Nation*, Charter adopted for, 1 ar- 
ts* i signing of, a Si 9 Declaration of, 
iSji voting procedure in (veto ques- 
tion), 87, 91-96, 94m, 117—1193 

Assembly of, 119-1x1, mn. 

United States Qo\ eminent, urged to recon- 
sider policy toward USSR, 78-813 1x4 

Vandeoberg, Senator Arthur H., *911.3 at 
San Francisco Conference, 91, 940., 
95a., 11 8, 11 an. 

Venezia Giulia (Italy), dispute over, 39- 
47, 49, 130, 131, 1 S 7— 1 8 S 4 division of, 
at Morgan Line, 4 63 agreement about, 

Veto question in U.N., u* United Nations, 
Voting procedure in 

Vienna, sectors in, 63, 66, 143, 144, 149, 
130, 174 3 allied mission to, 67, 69, *743 
entry of western forces into, 149—130, 
1743 supply of food for, 1753 first meet- 
ing of Control Council in, 376 

Vietinghoff, Heinrich von, General, 9 

Vishinsky, Andrei, Soviet Assistant Com- 
missar for Foreign Affairs, 67, 6S, 143, 
ait, 1*30. 

Voroshilov, K. E., Marshal, Soviet Chair- 
man of Control Commission, 191 

Voulgaris, Admiral, Greek Prime Minister, 

Wadsworth, George, U.S. Minister in Leb- 
anon and Syria, 303 

“War Booty” for Germany, 144, 156-237, 

Warlimont, Walter German General, iS 
Weeks, Sir Ronald, General, 146-149 
Wilson, Edwin C., U.S. Ambassador to 
Turkey, 193, 1930., 194. agin. 
Wilson, Field Marshal, Sir Henry Mait- 
land, 17} 

Winant, John Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador to 
Great Britain, 140, 140a., 146, «4 6n., 
160, 137, *17n., 238, 274, 3*7, J 1 * 
Winterton, British General, Sir Thomas, 


Witos, Wincenty, head of Polish Peasant 
PSrty, 1040., *03, 1050., 206, xo8 
Wolff, Karl, German General, SS officer 
in Italy, 9 

Yalta, Conference at, statement of inten- 
tions regarding Germany at, 33 16, 31, 
3?, 1*4, 116, 1183 Accord, 34, 1*. 39, 
59. «*> 73, 79, *0. St, 9«» 9 1 , 93, 95"-, 
98, 100, 103, «°5> »«*> »«*, *J*» 1£ >3, 
107, no-ill, 217, zi8, *1), 216, 136- 
*39, secret agreement on Far East at, 
111, 114 

Yugoslavia, question of government of, 46, 
103, 1033 183-2863 tension with 

Greece, 286, 187 

Zafcowski, J., Polish political figure, 2040. 
Zhukov, Gregory, Soviet Marshal, 13, 16, 
loi, 141, i44-»49, **J> *+8n., 157m, 

Zulawski, Z , Polish political figure, *0411.